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

Definition of whimsy

1 : whim, caprice
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

Keep scrolling for more

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

For his whole career, the British screenwriter has been one of the leading romantic comedy scribes in the world, with a sense of whimsy and wistfulness that set the pace for a generation of films in the genre. Alissa Wilkinson, Vox, "He wrote Notting Hill and Love Actually. In his new film, everyone forgets the Beatles.," 26 June 2019 With it, the architect proved the power of a poetic modernism, full of whimsy and romance, and offered a reproof to the lean, functional modernism of an earlier generation of architects. Philip Kennicott, Washington Post, "The TWA Hotel revives a magnificent, mid-century vision of the friendly skies," 12 June 2019 Charming Venus, your personal planet of well-being and daily activities, moves through thoughtful Gemini this week, bringing a sense of whimsy back into your routines. Venus Australis, refinery29.com, "Your Horoscope This Week," 9 June 2019 More than 50 six-foot-tall ice cream sculptures add an element of whimsy to Le Mars' downtown streets, along with colorful murals created by more than 100 Midwest artists. Laura Kiniry, Smithsonian, "The 15 Best Small Towns to Visit in 2019," 6 June 2019 My Turquoise Kitten,’ a very unique jewelry line designed with a great sense of whimsy. Linda Gandee/special To Cleveland.com, cleveland.com, "BAYarts brings food, fun and music to Art and Music Festival June 15," 3 June 2019 The unconventional display lends a sense of whimsy to the space, making it all the more special a setting for a party. Hadley Keller, House Beautiful, "Forget She Sheds, You Need a Dining Shed," 30 May 2019 For a touch of whimsy, there was a thigh-high velvet boot, hand-embroidered with red roses and embellished with crystal strands that clip on and off. Monica Kim, Vogue, "Magda Butrym Is Nostalgic for an ’80s Moment Warsaw Never Knew," 17 Apr. 2019 The pub crawl can get a little exhausting, and the reader can get bloated on the relentless whimsy. New York Times, "Sloshed, Hammered, Blotto — We’ve Been Doing It for Ages," 30 May 2018

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.

See More

First Known Use of whimsy

1605, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for whimsy

irregular from whim-wham

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about whimsy

Statistics for whimsy

Last Updated

6 Jul 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for whimsy

The first known use of whimsy was in 1605

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for whimsy



English Language Learners Definition of whimsy

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

Keep scrolling for more

More from Merriam-Webster on whimsy

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with whimsy

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for 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).


food or victuals

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Farm Idioms Quiz

  • cow coming home
  • What does 'poke' refer to in the expression 'pig in a poke'?
True or False

Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something along the way.


Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!