\ 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 Mbengue started making content for TikTok, a video-sharing social networking platform, on a whim in 2019 with a simple video. Trisha Thomas, Star Tribune, "Italy: Teen in hijab aims to be 'Afro-influencer' on TikTok," 25 Mar. 2021 Business decisions should never be made on faith or a whim without thoroughly assessing the current situation first. Hao Lam, Forbes, "Lessons Learned From Business Failure That Can Save Your Business Now," 12 Mar. 2021 For much of his career, Mr. Cook was known as Roger Cook, thanks to a fourth-grade teacher’s whim. New York Times, "Rajie Cook, Who Helped Make Sense of Public Spaces, Dies at 90," 25 Feb. 2021 On a whim in 1972 while enrolled in medical school, Steven Lomazow began collecting magazines. Nora Mcgreevy, Smithsonian Magazine, "How Magazines Helped Shape American History," 23 Feb. 2021 Linn said a friend suggested the name, and public response was positive enough that what started as a pandemic-year whim could end up becoming a group that presents future events and activities. al, "‘Pirates of Fish River’ keep Mardi Gras spirit alive despite pandemic," 6 Feb. 2021 The Space Force seemed like a Trump whim at the outset. Marina Koren, The Atlantic, "Biden Inherits Trump’s Space Force," 26 Jan. 2021 Maybe, just maybe, presidents shouldn’t be able excuse crimes and punishments for the powerful and influential on a lame-duck whim. Matt Ford, The New Republic, "The Most Unpardonable Presidential Power," 2 Dec. 2020 More plausible, it was invented on a whim by Sandro Petti, the proprietor of a restaurant on the resort island of Ischia in the 1950s. Amy Drew Thompson, orlandosentinel.com, "Puttanesca: For anchovy lovers, this sauce is risque business," 18 Nov. 2020

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

4 Apr 2021

Cite this Entry

“Whim.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/whim. Accessed 11 Apr. 2021.

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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

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for whim

Nglish: Translation of whim for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of whim for Arabic Speakers

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