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

Definition of whispering

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1a : whispered speech
b : gossip, rumor
2 : a sibilant sound : whisper



Definition of whispering (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : making a sibilant sound
2 : spreading confidential and especially derogatory reports whispering tongues can poison truth— S. T. Coleridge

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Other Words from whispering


whisperingly \ ˈhwi-​sp(ə-​)riŋ-​lē How to pronounce whisperingly (audio) , ˈwi-​ \ adverb

Examples of whispering in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Grace Hotels / Mehera Bonner Anyone obsessed with Gilmore Girls has at least heard whisperings about the tiny pastoral town of Washington Depot, Connecticut. Mehera Bonner, Marie Claire, "Where to Stay, Eat, and Drink in Washington Depot, Connecticut," 12 Oct. 2018 With its whispering, overlapping choruses and unsettled orchestra, Mr. Muhly’s music reflects the slippery world of the troubled protagonist, a liar and a thief who trusts no one and doesn’t know why. Heidi Waleson, WSJ, "‘Marnie’ Review: A Thief’s Secrets," 22 Oct. 2018 Getty ImagesTim Graham Remember a little while ago when there were some confusing whisperings about a musical being made of Princess Diana’s life? Lucy Wood, Marie Claire, "The Princess Diana Musical Has Cast Jeanna de Waal, to Play The Late Princess of Wales," 9 Oct. 2018 And public shaming — also common on university campuses — frequently leads to perpetual silence, or whispering. Alex Mckinnon, New York Times, "‘Toxic Culture’ Stymies Australian Politics’ #MeToo Moment," 11 Mar. 2018 What is Michael Kassan whispering in the ear of your client? Recode Staff, Recode, "Full transcript: Jessica Pressler talks ‘lady grifters’ + Ken Auletta on the ‘frenemies’ of the ad business on Recode Media," 24 June 2018 That night, Soo Jin tiptoed into the room her sister shared with Grandmother, whose impossibly loud snoring covered up the girls’ whispering. Chicago Tribune, chicagotribune.com, "Algren Award runner-up: "Most Best Happy Korean Bright Star" by Michelle Massie," 2 June 2018 With Navarro whispering in Trump’s ear, the world can expect a rocky road ahead as the United States pushes for a wider trade war. Jeet Heer, The New Republic, "Top Trump advisor is itching to escalate trade war.," 8 June 2018 In Game 4 Monday night, James drifted in an 8-footer in the third quarter, on which the ball flew over the corner of the backboard and landed in the net with a whispering swish that brought a peal of thunder from the crowd. Bill Livingston, cleveland.com, "LeBron James and the toolbox, the repertoire, the sweep: Bill Livingston (photos)," 7 May 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'whispering.' 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 whispering


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


1547, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Statistics for whispering

Last Updated

9 Apr 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for whispering

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

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More Definitions for whispering



English Language Learners Definition of whispering

: something spoken in a very soft or quiet way

More from Merriam-Webster on whispering

Nglish: Translation of whispering for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of whispering for Arabic Speakers

Comments on whispering

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


a sum of money that is sent as a payment

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