\ ˈ(h)wim How to pronounce whim (audio) \

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 Users booking a ski weekend on a whim can also find deals on hotel stays, rental equipment and even meals—with the quickest and savviest shoppers saving up to 80%. Brigid Mander, WSJ, "The 4 Best Apps for Smart Skiers—and Braggy Ones, Too," 7 Feb. 2020 His first skydive, in 1969, took place at Lake Elsinore in Riverside County on a whim. Gregory Thomas, San Francisco Chronicle, "California’s 88-year-old skydiver," 30 Jan. 2020 However, don't purchase something on a whim just to impress your friends. oregonlive, "Horoscope for Feb. 3, 2020: Happy birthday Nathan Lane; Cancer, keep your eye on the ball," 3 Feb. 2020 Houchens said Beshear's actions go against the spirit of the Kentucky Education Reform Act of 1990, which set out to protect the state's public schools from the whims of partisan politics. Ben Tobin, The Courier-Journal, "Newly ousted members of Kentucky Board of Education will sue Gov. Andy Beshear," 10 Dec. 2019 The purpose of this law is to protect people like Scot from the whims of politicians. Courtney Astolfi, cleveland, "Cuyahoga County’s former IT chief sues county over his 19 months of unpaid leave," 5 Dec. 2019 The center, Wright hopes, will be an academic home for the discipline, removed from the whims of the federal budget and private philanthropists, where students can be trained in the latest research. Adam Mann, The New Yorker, "Intelligent Ways to Search for Extraterrestrials," 3 Oct. 2019 Central banks in most modern economies are designed to be insulated from the short-term whims of politicians. Matt Egan, CNN, "Turkey is the poster child for what happens when politicians mess with central banks," 8 July 2019 Skeptics merely saw the sale as evidence that the foreign policy bureaucracy operated at some distance from Trump’s whims. Jonathan Chait, Daily Intelligencer, "Did Trump Bribe Ukraine to Stop Cooperating With Mueller?," 2 May 2018

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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Statistics for whim

Last Updated

25 Feb 2020

Cite this Entry

“Whim.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/whim. Accessed 26 Feb. 2020.

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More Definitions for whim


How to pronounce whim (audio)

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

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for whim

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with whim

Spanish Central: Translation of whim

Nglish: Translation of whim for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of whim for Arabic Speakers

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