Definition of whinge
: to complain fretfully : whine
whinge was our Word of the Day on 05/11/2009. Hear the podcast!
Examples of whinge in a sentence
Quit whinging and get on with the job.
People were whinging about the lack of service.
Did You Know?
Whinge isn't just a spelling variant of "whine." "Whinge" and "whine" are actually entirely different words with separate histories. "Whine" traces to an Old English verb, "hwinan," which means "to make a humming or whirring sound." When "hwinan" became "whinen" 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," which means "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 the complaint.
Origin and Etymology of whinge
Middle English *whingen, from Old English hwinsian; akin to Old High German winsōn to moan
First Known Use: 12th century
WHINGE Defined for English Language Learners
Definition of whinge for English Language Learners
: to complain in an annoying way
Seen and Heard
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