\ ˈ(h)winj How to pronounce whinge (audio) \
whinged; whinging or whingeing

Definition of whinge

intransitive verb

: to complain fretfully : whine

Other Words from whinge

whinge noun, British

Did you know?

Whinge isn't a simple 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.

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 Toddlers scream, children whinge and teenagers complain. Emma Baty, Redbook, 23 May 2017 Toddlers scream, children whinge and teenagers complain. Emma Baty, Redbook, 23 May 2017 Toddlers scream, children whinge and teenagers complain. Emma Baty, Redbook, 23 May 2017

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'whinge.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

First Known Use of whinge

12th century, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for whinge

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

Learn More About whinge

Time Traveler for whinge

Time Traveler

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

See more words from the same century

Listen to Our Podcast About whinge

Dictionary Entries Near whinge




See More Nearby Entries 

Statistics for whinge

Cite this Entry

“Whinge.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/whinge. Accessed 18 May. 2022.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon

More from Merriam-Webster on whinge

Britannica English: Translation of whinge for Arabic Speakers


Test Your Vocabulary

Name That Color

  • a light greenish blue color
  • Name that color:
How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!

Universal Daily Crossword

A daily challenge for crossword fanatics.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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