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

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

bruit (about), circulate, noise (about or abroad), rumor

Synonyms: Noun

canard, story, tale

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Examples of whisper in a Sentence


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.


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

But when David saw that his servants whispered, David perceived that the child was dead: therefore David said unto his servants, Is the child dead? Kevin D. Williamson, National Review, "Judge, if You Must, but Curb the Glee: Notes from Las Vegas," 18 July 2019 The big news, of course, was the long-awaited, much-whispered Ryzen 9 3950X. During her keynote, Su said the CPU, which will be available in September, features a boost clock of 4.7GHz with a base clock of 3.5GHz. Gordon Mah Ung, PCWorld, "AMD's Ryzen 9 3950X is a 16-core CPU aiming to topple Intel's gaming dominance," 10 June 2019 Actress Zoë Kravitz famously whispered and tapped her way through a 2019 Super Bowl ad for Michelob Ultra. Karen Pallarito, Health.com, "How Does ASMR Work? The Science Behind Those Brain-Tingling Sounds," 6 June 2019 At another point, Epstein laughs at something Trump whispers into his ear. Annie Karni, BostonGlobe.com, "Video shows Trump and Epstein partying and commenting on women in 1992," 17 July 2019 Watch any MotoGP weekend and the affable 44-year-old is there, clipboard in hand, whispering advice into Marquez's ear and marshaling the intense activity in the garage around him. Jonathan Hawkins, CNN, "The power behind Marc Marquez's MotoGP throne," 11 June 2019 Just the titillating sounds of a random man whispering not-so-sweet nothings into my ear. Rachel Khona, Allure, "I Tried Quinn, the New Audio Porn Website For Women," 23 Apr. 2019 Garrett whispers as a lizard skulks across the road. Kyle Dickman, Outside Online, "A Rattle with Death in Yosemite," 20 June 2018 Another man beckons him from a parked car to whisper about a legal problem. Rick Paulas, SFChronicle.com, "Defender of the homeless remains committed, and angry," 12 June 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

The stares and whispers of classmates — and the teasing of especially cruel ones — had grown unbearable. Azam Ahmed, New York Times, "Women Are Fleeing Death at Home. The U.S. Wants to Keep Them Out.," 18 Aug. 2019 However, after the team’s disastrous failure to qualify for the 2019 Indianapolis 500, the whispers about McLaren’s eventual arrival grew faint. Jim Ayello, Indianapolis Star, "Sources: McLaren pursuing Colton Herta, full-season partnership with IndyCar team for 2020," 29 July 2019 Labor now has but a whisper of its once-formidable voice, and the political power of unions has shifted toward the gray- and white-collar workers of the Service Employees International Union and the National Education Association. Jay Cost, National Review, "How Republicans Can Appeal to the White Working Class," 25 July 2019 Subtle with hints of honey, malt and even a whisper of Chardonnay, this brew is also food-friendly. Georgann Yara, azcentral, "10 Arizona-made beers you need to be drinking this summer," 18 July 2019 Long years of neglect in an amusement park didn’t add a whisper of promise that the 4449 would soon be whistling down any rails, except in memory. Tom Bentley, Popular Mechanics, "Why the SP 4449 Is Such a Badass Train," 15 July 2019 The thought of slipping on my running shoes still stirs a whisper of dread in my stomach. Andrea Pitzer, Outside Online, "I (Kinda) Hate Running," 9 July 2019 Ron Gula, a cybersecurity investor and alumnus of the U.S. National Security Agency, tells Fortune that whispers of a possible downturn may be provoking people to plan for a drought. Robert Hackett, Fortune, "The Cybersecurity Market Is Consolidating—Cyber Saturday," 8 June 2019 What's not to love about a show that has whispers of all that is mostly evil, a hot dad (who lives in Brooklyn with those kids), and a severely underrated angel named Dorota? 2. Seventeen, "The 20 Greatest TV Teen Dramas of All Time," 4 Dec. 2018

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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Statistics for whisper

Last Updated

9 Aug 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for whisper

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

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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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Comments on whisper

What made you want to look up whisper? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


a haphazard or makeshift solution

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