whisper

1 of 2

verb

whis·​per ˈ(h)wi-spər How to pronounce whisper (audio)
whispered; whispering ˈ(h)wi-sp(ə-)riŋ How to pronounce whisper (audio)

intransitive verb

1
: to speak softly with little or no vibration of the vocal cords especially to avoid being overheard
2
: to make a sibilant sound that resembles whispering

transitive verb

1
: to address in a whisper
2
: to utter or communicate in or as if in a whisper

whisper

2 of 2

noun

1
: something communicated by or as if by whispering
especially : rumor
whispers of scandal
2
a
: an act or instance of whispering
especially : speech without vibration of the vocal cords
b
: a sibilant sound that resembles whispered speech
3
: hint, trace

Examples of whisper in a Sentence

Verb He whispered in my ear. She leaned over and whispered to the girl next to her. I couldn't hear what they were saying because they were whispering. She leaned over and whispered something to the girl next to her. “I'll be right back,” she whispered. A soft breeze whispered through the trees. Noun She spoke in a whisper. the whisper of the wind I've heard whispers that the company might go out of business.
Recent Examples on the Web
Verb
Inside, all the lights are turned up bright, and thirty or forty spectators are seated in a tense, whispering silence. Sally Rooney, The New Yorker, 1 July 2024 But the push for a new candidate isn’t just being whispered behind closed doors. Tatiana Siegel, Variety, 28 June 2024
Noun
There were more whispers earlier this year, but with new music seemingly further away from what Navy stans would like to imagine, perhaps 2025 is more likely. Thomas Smith, Billboard, 5 July 2024 And there is nothing that offsets this wondrous assault on the taste buds more beautifully than sushi rice, firm and fluffy, along with a whisper of sweet and heat and fishy-nutty furikake — all of it wrapped in the gloriously chewy umami of nori. Amy Drew Thompson, Orlando Sentinel, 4 July 2024 See all Example Sentences for whisper 

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

Word History

Etymology

Verb

Middle English, from Old English hwisperian; akin to Old High German hwispalōn to whisper, Old Norse hvīsla — more at whistle

First Known Use

Verb

before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at intransitive sense 1

Noun

1595, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of whisper was before the 12th century

Dictionary Entries Near whisper

Cite this Entry

“Whisper.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/whisper. Accessed 18 Jul. 2024.

Kids Definition

whisper

1 of 2 verb
whis·​per ˈhwis-pər How to pronounce whisper (audio)
ˈwis-
whispered; whispering -p(ə-)riŋ How to pronounce whisper (audio)
1
: to speak very softly or under the breath
2
: to tell or utter by whispering
whisper a secret
3
: to make a series of little noises
whispering leaves
whisperer
-pər-ər
noun

whisper

2 of 2 noun
1
: something said by or as if by whispering
especially : rumor entry 1
whispers of scandal
2
: an act or instance of whispering
3
: a barely noticeable amount : hint
showed only a whisper of concern

More from Merriam-Webster on whisper

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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