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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.
    • 1549 April 1 (Gregorian calendar), Hughe Latymer [i.e., Hugh Latimer]; Augustine Bernher, compiler, “[27 Sermons Preached by the Ryght Reuerende Father in God and Constant Matir of Iesus Christe, Maister Hugh Latimer, [].] The Thyrde Sermon of Maister Hughe Latymer whyche He Preached before the Kynge [Edward VI], wythin Hys Graces Palayce at Westminster, the XXII. Daye of Marche.”, in Certayn Godly Sermons, Made uppon the Lords Prayer, [], London: [] John Day, [], published 1562, OCLC 12219849, folio 39, verso:
      Was ther euer yet prechers, but ther wer gainſayers? that ſpurned? that winſt? that whimpered againſt him?
  3. To say something in a whimpering manner.
    “Master, please don’t punish me!” he whimpered.
    • 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.


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