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Alternative forms[edit]


From Middle English whinsen, from Old English hwinsian (to whine), from Proto-Germanic *hwinisōną (to whine), from Proto-Germanic *hwīnaną (to whizz, rush, swoosh, whine, hiss), from Proto-Indo-European *ḱwey- (to hiss, whistle, whisper). Cognate with German winseln (to whine, whimper).


  • enPR: (h)wĭnj, (h)wĭnZH, IPA(key): /(h)wɪn(d)ʒ/
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  • Rhymes: -ɪndʒ


whinge (third-person singular simple present whinges, present participle whingeing or whinging, simple past and past participle whinged)

  1. (Britain, Australia, New Zealand, Ireland) To complain, especially in an annoying or persistent manner.
    Argh! He has been whinging about it all night, even though he knows there's nothing we can do.
  2. (Britain, Australia, New Zealand, Ireland) To whine.
    I know it won't help but sometimes it feels better to whinge about the things that annoy me.
    • 1814, Sir Walter Scott, chapter 1, in Waverley or 'tis Sixty Years Since, Volume II:
      "'D' ye hear what's come ower ye now,' continued the virago, 'ye whingeing Whig carles? D'ye hear wha's coming to cow yer cracks?"
    • 1992, Sky Phillips, Secret mission to Melbourne, November, 1941‎, page 45:
      Mostly, they were wingeing about the lousy cook and the same thing served too often
    • 1993, Michael Fisher, The Nightmare Man‎, page 169:
      His wife will winge her bloody head off, but Nev will come good.
    • 2002, Diana Wynne Jones, A Tale of Time City‎, page 41:
      "I'm miserable," Sam proclaimed, plodding behind with his shoelace flapping. "Nobody ever gives me butter-pies when I need them." / "Shut up," said Jonathan. "Stop wingeing."
    • 2012, John Lyons, The Australian, 1st Dec issue, Action stations as sea giants stay vigilant on the frontline
      "You know the problem these days with young people? Get them to carry a 500-pound bomb and within 30 seconds they're making noises," he says, imitating a whingeing sound.


whinge (plural whinges)

  1. (Britain, Australia, New Zealand, Ireland) A cry.
    Her whinges grew even shriller and more annoying the longer we had to listen to them.
  2. (Britain, Australia, New Zealand, Ireland) A peevish complaint.
    I know you don't like it, but your whinges won't solve the problem!


Related terms[edit]


Further reading[edit]

  • A relevant page from Understanding cultures through their key words, Anna Wierzbicka.