whinged; whinging or whingeing

intransitive verb

: to complain fretfully : whine
whinge noun British

Did you know?

One of the strengths of the English language is the nuance it exhibits when called upon to supply words for every possible kind of whining and complaining. We English users vent, we lament, we fuss and grouse and kvetch. We also—especially those of us across the pond—have a tendency to whinge. Contrary to appearances, whinge is etymologically distinct from whine. The latter traces to an Old English verb, hwīnan, meaning "to hum or whir like a speeding object (such as an arrow) through the air." When hwīnan became whine in Middle English, it meant "to wail distressfully"; whine didn't acquire its "complain" sense until the 16th century. Whinge, on the other hand, comes from a different Old English verb, hwinsian, meaning "to wail or moan discontentedly." Whinge retains that original sense today, though nowadays it puts less emphasis on the sound of the complaining and more on the discontentment behind all the whinging and moaning.

Examples of whinge in a Sentence

Quit whinging and get on with the job. People were whinging about the lack of service.
Recent Examples on the Web In an interview on Fox News, Trump’s reliable friend and promoter Sean Hannity offered the former President a chance to dismiss the growing public alarm over his dictatorial aspirations as just so much whinging by the liberal media. Susan B. Glasser, The New Yorker, 7 Dec. 2023 There is plenty of whinging going on here, but both Goop and the cruise ship industry feel like fair targets, and Oyler’s dry humor still manages to lift this piece up. Carolyn Wells, Longreads, 19 Apr. 2023 Toddlers scream, children whinge and teenagers complain. Emma Baty, Redbook, 23 May 2017

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

Word History


Middle English *whingen, from Old English hwinsian; akin to Old High German winsōn to moan

First Known Use

12th century, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of whinge was in the 12th century


Dictionary Entries Near whinge

Cite this Entry

“Whinge.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/whinge. Accessed 19 Apr. 2024.

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