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whin·​ny ˈ(h)wi-nē How to pronounce whinny (audio)
whinnied; whinnying

intransitive verb

: to neigh especially in a low or gentle way

transitive verb

: to utter with or as if with a whinny


2 of 2


plural whinnies
: the neigh of a horse especially when low or gentle
: a sound resembling a neigh

Examples of whinny in a Sentence

Verb I heard the horse whinnying. the father whinnied and reared as his young daughter pretended to ride him
Recent Examples on the Web
Kenny was large for his age, with a flat, flabby face and a high, whinnying voice. Aryn Kyle, Harper's Magazine, 26 Feb. 2024 Waffles, patient and unbothered as onlookers walked around and stopped to gaze, nickered as another horse on the other side of the massive stalls whinnied. James Hartley, Fort Worth Star-Telegram, 26 Jan. 2024 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, 5 June 2018 The 10-year-old mare bucked, whinnied, and galloped, sensing the pride of victory. Mitchell Gladstone, Philly.com, 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, 29 Apr. 2018
One of the horses fell on its side, its high whinny like a human scream. Nick Romano, EW.com, 12 Dec. 2022 Laughter punctuates the exaggerated whinnies, proving that the source is not in fact a horse. Kalyn Kahler, SI.com, 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, 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, 11 Jan. 2018 Animal grunts and growls, horse neighs and whinnies. Charles Desmarais, San Francisco Chronicle, 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, 5 Apr. 2018 Cloris Leachman was Frau Blücher, the sound of whose name caused horses to whinny in fear. Daniel Lewis, New York Times, 29 Aug. 2016

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

Word History



probably imitative

First Known Use


1530, in the meaning defined at intransitive sense


circa 1823, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of whinny was in 1530

Dictionary Entries Near whinny

Cite this Entry

“Whinny.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/whinny. Accessed 13 Apr. 2024.

Kids Definition


1 of 2 verb
whin·​ny ˈhwin-ē How to pronounce whinny (audio)
whinnied; whinnying
: to neigh especially in a low or gentle manner


2 of 2 noun
plural whinnies
: the neigh of a horse especially when low or gentle

More from Merriam-Webster on whinny

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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