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From dialectal whimp (to whine) +‎ -er (frequentative suffix). Compare German wimmern (to whimper, whine).


  • IPA(key): /ˈwɪmpə(ɹ)/, /ˈʍɪmpə(ɹ)/
  • (file)
  • Rhymes: -ɪmpə(ɹ)


whimper (plural whimpers)

  1. A low intermittent sob.



whimper (third-person singular simple present whimpers, present participle whimpering, simple past and past participle whimpered)

  1. To cry or sob softly and intermittently.
    The lonely puppy began to whimper as soon as we left the room.
  2. To cry with a low, whining, broken voice; to whine; to complain.
    • March 22 1549, Hugh Latimer, third sermon preached before King Edward VI
      Was there ever yet preacher but there were gainsayers that spurned, that winced, that whimpered against him?
  3. To say something in a whimpering manner.
    • 2019 May 12, Alex McLevy, “Westeros faces a disastrous final battle on the penultimate Game of Thrones (newbies)”, in The A.V. Club[1]:
      Stripped of all bravado, Cersei breaks, and shows the very scared, vulnerable woman who has kept her emotions at bay. “I don’t want to die,” she whimpers, “Not like this.” It’s all the more moving for coming from a character who built her identity on steely resolve and contempt for such hoary conceits as fear.
    "Master, please don't punish me!" he whimpered.


Derived terms[edit]