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whim·​per ˈ(h)wim-pər How to pronounce whimper (audio)
whimpered; whimpering ˈ(h)wim-p(ə-)riŋ How to pronounce whimper (audio)

intransitive verb

: to make a low whining plaintive or broken sound
: to complain or protest with or as if with a whimper


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: a whimpering cry or sound
: a petulant complaint or protest
the bill passed without a whimper

Examples of whimper in a Sentence

Verb I could hear the puppy whimpering. She whimpered about having to get up early. “Where are you going?” she whimpered. Noun I could hear the puppy's whimpers. patiently posed for dozens of photographs without so much as a whimper
Recent Examples on the Web
The wife had never heard this man plead or whimper or whine. Joyce Carol Oates, The New Yorker, 15 Apr. 2024 And while each of these lines wants to be shouted, Koenig only knows how to whimper, sigh and pirouette. Chris Richards, Washington Post, 5 Apr. 2024 The toddler whimpered and howled, but no one came to her rescue. Faith Karimi, CNN, 20 Mar. 2024 Enjoy a comedy show where renegade tech comedians will roast whimpering techies on stage in front of a live crowd. Brittany Delay, The Mercury News, 27 Feb. 2024 There were dogs in the back, from the neighbors in the back, that were whimpering and crying. Nathan Solis, Los Angeles Times, 28 Nov. 2023 On the plane, Angela and Will are seated behind a baby who whimpers feebly from takeoff to landing. Clare Sestanovich, The New Yorker, 6 Nov. 2023 Maria Leonor Montalvo whimpered as her sons spoke to her from across the courtroom Thursday morning. Lana Ferguson, Dallas News, 14 Sep. 2023 Operating on super-unleaded fuel, the engine adroitly belies the mass of machinery within, never whimpering on the way to its impressive 6500-rpm redline. Larry Griffin, Car and Driver, 24 Apr. 2023
To say the track is going out with a whimper would be a compliment. John Cherwa, Los Angeles Times, 19 May 2024 The Kings season ended again Wednesday with a whimper not a bang. Houston Mitchell, Los Angeles Times, 3 May 2024 The team that cleaned its cupboard bare in order to add a shiny third option in $43 million man Bradley Beal, and which broke down with barely a whimper in the first round, getting swept unceremoniously by Edwards and those Timberwolves. Mirjam Swanson, Orange County Register, 30 Apr. 2024 Ross and the front office led by Jed Hoyer and Carter Hawkins had the Cubs pointed in the right direction before ending last season with a whimper, not a bang. Phil Rogers, Forbes, 13 Feb. 2024 This isn't the first time a Sony-Marvel film has had a whimper of a release while being exalted online. Kalhan Rosenblatt, NBC News, 14 Feb. 2024 In a year already jam-packed with marquee releases from Ariana Grande, Beyoncé and Taylor Swift, Boone started off his year with a somewhat whimper, followed by a big bang. Steven J. Horowitz, Variety, 6 Mar. 2024 Boeing has shed 15% of its market capitalization since the Jan. 5 failure—roughly $22 billion—starting the year with both a literal bang and a whimper. Bysasha Rogelberg, Fortune, 18 Jan. 2024 The priorities sounded clear for University of Arkansas Coach Sam Pittman on Friday night after his team ended the season with a whimper in a 48-14 loss to No. 9 Missouri in the Battle Line Rivalry. Tom Murphy, arkansasonline.com, 26 Nov. 2023

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'whimper.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History




First Known Use


1513, in the meaning defined at sense 1


circa 1700, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of whimper was in 1513

Dictionary Entries Near whimper

Cite this Entry

“Whimper.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/whimper. Accessed 24 May. 2024.

Kids Definition


1 of 2 verb
whim·​per ˈhwim-pər How to pronounce whimper (audio)
whimpered; whimpering -p(ə-)riŋ How to pronounce whimper (audio)
: to utter weak interrupted cries
whimpered in pain


2 of 2 noun
: a whimpering cry

More from Merriam-Webster on whimper

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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