whin·​ny | \ ˈhwi-nē How to pronounce whinny (audio) , ˈwi-\
whinnied; whinnying

Definition of whinny

 (Entry 1 of 2)

intransitive verb

: to neigh especially in a low or gentle way

transitive verb

: to utter with or as if with a whinny


plural whinnies

Definition of whinny (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : the neigh of a horse especially when low or gentle
2 : a sound resembling a neigh

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Synonyms for whinny

Synonyms: Verb

neigh, nicker, whicker

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Examples of whinny in a Sentence


I heard the horse whinnying. the father whinnied and reared as his young daughter pretended to ride him

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Some unidentified whinnying joins the cacophony that accompanies gentrification—brash and brazen, with a total disregard for anything other than its own bullish desire. Rebecca Haithcoat, GQ, "Rhye Gets Down to Business," 5 June 2018 The 10-year-old mare bucked, whinnied, and galloped, sensing the pride of victory. Mitchell Gladstone, Philly.com, "Pennsylvanian Andy Kocher races to victory in Devon Horse Show's Open Jumper Stake," 2 June 2018 The forecast was calling for rain the next day, an element as necessary for all this — the flowering plant life, the whinnying animal life — as is the sun. John Kelly, Washington Post, "In spring, a middle-aged man’s fancy turns to blossoms and batteries," 29 Apr. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Laughter punctuates the exaggerated whinnies, proving that the source is not in fact a horse. Kalyn Kahler, SI.com, "A Saturday at the Belmont With Gronk," 11 June 2018 But the methodical, meditative act of grooming a horse — brush, brush, brush — and the smell of hay and the gentle whinnies from the 1,200-pound creature have been therapy for Alger. Petula Dvorak, Washington Post, "Second Chance Farm: Four broken men, six discarded racehorses, one place saving them," 17 May 2018 An astonishing collection of laughs — whinnies, giggles, squeals, snorts, heaves — gradually colors the narrative, until this seemingly harmless man becomes, in effect, not just a witness to savagery, but also an accessory. Jesse Green, New York Times, "Review: Surprise Lessons From John Lithgow’s ‘Stories by Heart’," 11 Jan. 2018 Animal grunts and growls, horse neighs and whinnies. Charles Desmarais, San Francisco Chronicle, "Janet Cardiff, George Bures Miller bring ‘Forest’ sounds to UC Santa Cruz," 17 Apr. 2018 More important, the track is where Charley meets a pretty quarter horse named Lean on Pete, whose velvety brown coat and barely audible whinnies become a balm for the lonely teenager. Manohla Dargis, New York Times, "Review: In ‘Lean on Pete,’ a Boy’s Survival in the Other America," 5 Apr. 2018 Cloris Leachman was Frau Blücher, the sound of whose name caused horses to whinny in fear. Daniel Lewis, New York Times, "Gene Wilder Dies at 83; Star of ‘Willy Wonka’ and ‘Young Frankenstein’," 29 Aug. 2016

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

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First Known Use of whinny


1530, in the meaning defined at intransitive sense


circa 1823, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for whinny


probably imitative

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Time Traveler for whinny

The first known use of whinny was in 1530

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More Definitions for whinny



English Language Learners Definition of whinny

of a horse : to make a gentle, high sound


whin·​ny | \ ˈhwi-nē How to pronounce whinny (audio) , ˈwi-\
whinnied; whinnying

Kids Definition of whinny

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: to neigh usually in a low gentle way


plural whinnies

Kids Definition of whinny (Entry 2 of 2)

: a low gentle neigh

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More from Merriam-Webster on whinny

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with whinny

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for whinny

Spanish Central: Translation of whinny

Nglish: Translation of whinny for Spanish Speakers

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