\ ˈhwim How to pronounce whim (audio) , ˈwim\

Definition of whim

1 : a capricious or eccentric and often sudden idea or turn of the mind : fancy quit his job on a whim
2 : a large capstan that is made with one or more radiating arms to which a horse may be yoked and that is used in mines for raising ore or water

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Choose the Right Synonym for whim

caprice, whim, vagary, crotchet mean an irrational or unpredictable idea or desire. caprice stresses lack of apparent motivation and suggests willfulness. by sheer caprice she quit her job whim implies a fantastic, capricious turn of mind or inclination. an odd antique that was bought on a whim vagary stresses the erratic, irresponsible character of the notion or desire. he had been prone to strange vagaries crotchet implies an eccentric opinion or preference. a serious scientist equally known for his bizarre crotchets

Examples of whim in a Sentence

It's hard to predict voters' whims. on a whim, we stopped at the roadside stand to get ice cream

Recent Examples on the Web

How the situation spun out of control across the league has to do with more than just the whims of temperamental billionaire owners. Joshua Robinson, WSJ, "The Premier League Can’t Stop Firing Managers," 16 Mar. 2018 Many publishers want to build their own sites and customer base rather than be at the whim of giant technology companies. Tali Arbel, The Seattle Times, "Newspapers largely shun Apple’s news subscription service," 27 Mar. 2019 Writers and artists would be censured at the whim of government. Fox News, "Reps. Meadows, Jordan call on Rosenstein to testify," 27 Sep. 2018 For about a decade beginning in the mid-1990s, the girls were raped, beaten and starved at the whim of Alamo, whose behavior grew more sadistic as the years went on. Elaine Aradillas, PEOPLE.com, "Cult Leader Controlled Girls' Lives, Forcing Them to Create Secret Code: We Spoke With Our Eyes," 31 May 2018 The update comes at a critical juncture for Snapchat, which finds itself increasingly at the whim of its most popular users. Greg Larose, NOLA.com, "Say goodbye to your teen, Snapchat introduces 16-person video chats: report," 3 Apr. 2018 But these jobs are inherently unpredictable, as housekeepers deal with people’s whims and habits and moods. Juliana Feliciano Reyes, Philly.com, "Hotel housekeeping on demand: Marriott cleaners say this app makes their job harder," 2 July 2018 The approach was characteristic for a man who has planned presidential trips and catered to the whims and demands of every Republican president since Ronald Reagan. Jeremy Diamond And Kevin Liptak, CNN, "Trump's man with the Singapore plan: Joe Hagin," 3 June 2018 To act as though these women have casually chosen to abort that child on a whim is an unforgivable insult to every woman who has had to make that awful choice. Jennifer Wright, Harper's BAZAAR, "Anti-Abortion Activists Are Still Defending Forced Birth with Debunked Science," 26 Jan. 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'whim.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of whim

1686, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for whim

short for whim-wham

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Learn More about whim

Dictionary Entries near whim






whim gin


Statistics for whim

Last Updated

22 Apr 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for whim

The first known use of whim was in 1686

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More Definitions for whim



English Language Learners Definition of whim

: a sudden wish, desire, decision, etc.


\ ˈhwim How to pronounce whim (audio) , ˈwim\

Kids Definition of whim

: a sudden wish or desire : a sudden change of mind

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More from Merriam-Webster on whim

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with whim

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for whim

Spanish Central: Translation of whim

Nglish: Translation of whim for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of whim for Arabic Speakers

Comments on whim

What made you want to look up whim? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


not to be persuaded, moved, or stopped

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