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

Definition of whisper

 (Entry 1 of 2)

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



Definition of whisper (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : something communicated by or as if by whispering especially : rumor whispers of scandal
2a : 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

Synonyms for whisper

Synonyms: Verb

Synonyms: Noun

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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. See More
Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Three prosecutors sat on the bench at trial, and a fourth often stood up from the first row of public seating to whisper into their ears. Jolie Mccullough, San Antonio Express-News, 10 May 2022 Throughout her testimony, Depp wore sunglasses and appeared to be looking down — often leaning over to whisper something to his lawyer and occasionally chuckling. Washington Post, 5 May 2022 By the way, did Mandy really whisper anything to Milo about what Rebecca was going to give Jack at their next anniversary? Dan Snierson, EW.com, 6 Apr. 2022 But the prospect of a looming leadership shuffle may be impossible to ignore, with Republicans excited about their chances of winning back the majority and many GOP lawmakers beginning to privately whisper about what that might look like. Melanie Zanona, CNN, 23 Mar. 2022 Personal trainers will whisper counsel, and TV cameras will capture every conceivable vantage point. Chase Goodbread, USA TODAY, 29 Mar. 2022 Her characters whisper, shout, elongate a vowel or express rhythmic cadence, allowing language to escape the familiar. New York Times, 10 Feb. 2022 Here, people wage emotional warfare by asking others to whisper, or by passive-aggressively plotting ways to feel disappointed — i.e. feel superior. Amy Nicholson, Variety, 20 Jan. 2022 So someone standing in one location can whisper and be overheard clearly by another person standing somewhere else. Jennifer Ouellette, Ars Technica, 16 Dec. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Bridgers, born and raised in Pasadena, was in high school then, a pale whisper of a punk girl who had yet to get her ears pierced. Suzy Expositostaff Writer, Los Angeles Times, 7 Apr. 2022 He still the storm to a whisper; the waves of the sea were hushed. Elizabeth Berry, Woman's Day, 4 May 2022 The new motor will also be whisper-quiet and produce zero carbon emissions. Rachel Cormack, Robb Report, 5 Apr. 2022 The capacity crowd of young people — some young enough to enjoy the show from their parents’ shoulders — seemed entranced by the singer’s every whisper and gasp, their cheers as deafening as her bass-heavy songs. Washington Post, 10 Feb. 2022 What you are supposed to do is gently drool into the vial, letting the spit escape your lips like a lover’s whisper. Nate Jones, Vulture, 8 July 2021 Pushing the Bucks without Tatum has to leave a whisper in the Bucks’ ears. Globe Staff, BostonGlobe.com, 8 Apr. 2022 Women now file harassment cases more often and name names, not only in the old whisper networks but also in the news and social media. Ann Finkbeiner, Scientific American, 21 Mar. 2022 But then, almost at a whisper, Smith pivots toward something like reassurance. New York Times, 14 Mar. 2022 See More

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

First Known Use of whisper


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


1595, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for whisper


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

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Time Traveler for whisper

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for whisper

Last Updated

17 May 2022

Cite this Entry

“Whisper.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/whisper. Accessed 20 May. 2022.

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More Definitions for whisper


whis·​per | \ ˈhwi-spər How to pronounce whisper (audio) , ˈwi- \
whispered; whispering

Kids Definition of whisper

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : to speak softly and quietly
2 : to tell by speaking softly and quietly "I would miss you, Nick," I whispered. "I would."— Patricia MacLachlan, Sarah, Plain and Tall
3 : to make a low rustling sound The wind whispered in the trees.



Kids Definition of whisper (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : a soft quiet way of speaking that can be heard only by people who are near
2 : the act of speaking softly and quietly
3 : something said softly and quietly
4 : hint entry 1 sense 2 a whisper of smoke

More from Merriam-Webster on whisper

Nglish: Translation of whisper for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of whisper for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about whisper


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