whim·​sy | \ ˈhwim-zē How to pronounce whimsy (audio) , ˈwim- \
variants: or less commonly whimsey
plural whimsies also whimseys

Definition of whimsy

2 : the quality or state of being whimsical or fanciful the designer's new line showed a touch of whimsy
3 : a fanciful or fantastic device, object, or creation especially in writing or art

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Examples of whimsy in a Sentence

The designer's new line showed a touch of whimsy. a bit of decorative whimsy
Recent Examples on the Web The work is incisive and full of rightful despair, while making of whimsy a wonderfully barbed weapon. Leah Ollman, Los Angeles Times, "Review: Don’t tell Elyse Pignolet to ‘calm down.’ How one artist answers sexism with a roar," 23 Oct. 2019 For years, Old Navy has been the motor sustaining Gap Inc., thanks to its formula of selling trendy but inexpensive versions of basics like shorts and performance fleece, presented with a touch of whimsy in lively stores. Fortune, "Old Navy Is About to Sail Away From Gap Inc.—and Into Some Choppy Waters," 24 Sep. 2019 That’s why it can be handled with a sort of whimsy in a way. Andrea Mandell, USA TODAY, "Why 'Jojo Rabbit's Taika Waititi didn't study Hitler before playing him," 6 Sep. 2019 Yara Shahidi remains a unique red-carpet mainstay with just the right touch of whimsy, while Tessa Thompson had a breakout year with a string of wow-worthy outfits for her Men in Black international press tour. Ashley Rushford, Essence, "ESSENCE Best In Black Fashion Awards: Meet The 2019 Red Carpet Mavens Of The Year," 30 Aug. 2019 Layered underneath chunky ribbed knits and paired with pleated wool trousers, the summer staple becomes an easy button-down alternative to add a little whimsy to a winter look. Alex Tudela, New York Times, "The Top 10 Styling Tips from the Men’s Shows," 29 Jan. 2018 But this matched the whimsy of her colorful detailed dress without competing with it. Shalwah Evans, Essence, "Lupita's Natural Bangs Are What Hair Goals Are Made Of," 28 Oct. 2019 That’s largely because the process is designed to test new technologies or designs that can then be used across the country, not for one-off projects that individual cities use to add a touch of whimsy. Wired, "As Pedestrian Deaths Spike, Feds Take on Fanciful Crosswalks," 23 Oct. 2019 In today’s edition, our five stories explore globalism (the Amazon fires), deterrence (Iran vs. Israel), equal treatment (the racial politics of justice), urban wildlife (raccoons in Toronto), and whimsy (competitive whistling). The Christian Science Monitor, "Mountain climbing with Spirit," 30 Aug. 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'whimsy.' 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 whimsy

1605, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for whimsy

irregular from whim-wham

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Learn More about whimsy

Time Traveler for whimsy

Time Traveler

The first known use of whimsy was in 1605

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Statistics for whimsy

Last Updated

7 Dec 2019

Cite this Entry

“Whimsy.” The Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/whimsey. Accessed 12 December 2019.

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More Definitions for whimsy


How to pronounce whimsy (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of whimsy

: a playful or amusing quality : a sense of humor or playfulness

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More from Merriam-Webster on whimsy

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for whimsy

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with whimsy

Nglish: Translation of whimsy for Spanish Speakers

Comments on whimsy

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


a period of high artistic development

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