whin·​ing | \ ˈ(h)wī-niŋ How to pronounce whining (audio) \

Definition of whining

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : producing or emitting a prolonged, high-pitched sound : producing a whine a whining howl … a coil of steel spins through a whining mass of machinery the size of a small two-story house.— Edward D. Welles The fresh wind across the big lake blew away the smoke of cooking fires and vanquished the mosquitoes that came out in whining droves …— Louise Erdrich
2 : complaining or inclined to complain in a childish or petulant manner They [scientists] think that … joyful people outlive their bilious, whining counterparts.— Natalie Angier Brooks plays a whining, middle-aged screenwriter …— Leah Rozen



Definition of whining (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : the act or an instance of producing a prolonged, high-pitched sound (such as a cry of distress or pain) the whining of a dog … that night she heard a whining and scratching at her door, and when she opened it the lame puppy, drenched and shivering, jumped up on her with little sobbing barks.— Edith Wharton
2 : the act or activity of complaining in an annoyingly childish or petulant manner Mom hates whining.— Ruth Kelley … but his public whining ("I'm sick and tired of it") didn't do him much good …— Elizabeth Drew But "people have begun to come out of that—they're tired of the whining," [J. Walker] Smith says.— Leslie Miller

Other Words from whining


whiningly \ ˈ(h)wī-​niŋ-​lē How to pronounce whiningly (audio) \ adverb

First Known Use of whining


circa 1586, in the meaning defined at sense 1


15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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The first known use of whining was in the 15th century

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Cite this Entry

“Whining.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/whining. Accessed 2 Dec. 2020.

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