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

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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.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Verb League executives and agents learned over the years that an effective way to float an idea to Allen was to first whisper it to his former college roommate. John Canzano, oregonlive, 2 June 2021 As a forester, biologist and ecological activist, Suzanne Simard is a real-life tree whisperer, and the trees whisper back. Hamilton Cain Special To The Star Tribune, Star Tribune, 30 Apr. 2021 My own colleagues whisper their concerns and discuss their disapproval after such meetings. Daniel Buck, National Review, 21 Apr. 2021 At the fete, noblemen and women whisper about the demonstration, and about the uprising in West Ravkan. Olivia Truffaut-wong, refinery29.com, 27 Apr. 2021 After weaving its way through your body, the vagus nerve ultimately ends up in your cranium, passing up through your neck and branching off to whisper past the outer edge of your ear. Katie Palmer, STAT, 24 Apr. 2021 If only someone were there to whisper this every hour of my life. New York Times, 31 Mar. 2021 Whether earth or pavement, those places remember things and whisper them back. Charles M. Blow New York Times, Star Tribune, 29 Mar. 2021 Eighth-graders haven’t learned to whisper yet, so literally everyone in the classroom hears this. Maggie Fremont, Vulture, 17 Mar. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Every nuance of richly expressive solos by first assistant principal cellist Richard Weiss and first associate concertmaster Peter Otto emerges in high definition, and when the orchestra lowers to a despairing whisper, the sound is flat-out eerie. Zachary Lewis, cleveland, 26 Mar. 2021 Imagining Navalny's movement fading to a whisper is also a stretch. Amy Kellogg, Fox News, 26 Mar. 2021 Her singing voice is gentle, nearly a whisper, and her love songs have an existential bent. Jeff Ihaza, Rolling Stone, 18 Mar. 2021 For that last line, her voice drops to a mournful whisper, each ripple and crack suffused with the sting of betrayal. Los Angeles Times, 24 Feb. 2021 Editors at the dictionary’s whisper-quiet office, in Springfield, Mass., are constantly scouring newspapers, academic journals, books and even cartoon captions for new words. Washington Post, 10 Mar. 2021 But that’s not all: This zippy, whisper-quiet gadget offers incredible suction and in our tests, picked up around 11.6 grams of dirt per run, which far exceeded what most iRobot units could handle. Shayna Murphy, USA TODAY, 11 May 2021 The scuff of a bare foot on sand, the rustle of a paper, a single word said in a whisper? BostonGlobe.com, 16 Apr. 2021 Statewide journalistic whisper networks can thus can be activated. Washington Post, 3 May 2021

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.

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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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Learn More About whisper

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

10 Jun 2021

Cite this Entry

“Whisper.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/whisper. Accessed 21 Jun. 2021.

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More Definitions for whisper



English Language Learners Definition of whisper

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: to speak very softly or quietly
: to produce a quiet sound



English Language Learners Definition of whisper (Entry 2 of 2)

: a very soft and quiet way of speaking
: a soft and quiet sound
: a very small amount of something


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


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