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

Definition of whispering

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1a : whispered speech
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

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from whispering


whisperingly \ ˈ(h)wi-​sp(ə-​)riŋ-​lē How to pronounce whisperingly (audio) \ adverb

Examples of whispering in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun On one hand, there were a bevy of huge, crazy Tribal Councils with last-second whispering and maneuvering leading to jaw-dropping exits. Dalton Ross, EW.com, "Survivor Winners at War recap: Double elimination smackdown!," 7 May 2020 The kids rediscovered Barbies and Legos and art kits and the underappreciated art of whispering. Washington Post, "Making the best of it: What a family of 6 learned when Mom got the coronavirus," 23 Apr. 2020 There’s the phones, the rustling with the bags, the whispering, the falling asleep —they’ve lost respect for themselves in a way, and that just makes my heart sink. Lucy Feldman, Time, "Let This Warm and Fuzzy Conversation With Laura Linney Bring You Cheer," 27 Mar. 2020 No whispering allowed, no cell phones either — nothing but a football player and his mind for the next 720 seconds. Dana Hunsinger Benbow, Indianapolis Star, "Inside the quirky IQ test at the NFL Combine: Manning scored lower than Luck; Colin Kaepernick beat them both," 27 Feb. 2020 But the whispering virtuoso is still working to normalize ASMR, even pushing for its recognition as a complementary therapy. Betsy Blumenthal, Condé Nast Traveler, "How ASMR Can Help With Travel Anxiety," 11 Nov. 2019 What do the sounds of whispering, crinkling paper, and tapping fingernails have in common? Jade Wu Savvy Psychologist, Scientific American, "Is ASMR Real or Just a Pseudoscience?," 4 Dec. 2019 The primary storyline surrounding the 2019 Jet season is Gase’s quarterback-whispering of Sam Darnold. Manish Mehta, courant.com, "Maybe Sam Darnold will make Adam Gase look good, not the other way around," 6 Aug. 2019 Both studies defined the condition and identified common triggers, which include whispering, finger tapping, and hair brushing. Popular Science, "Unlocking the mysterious ecstasy of ASMR—and its agonizing cousin," 18 Dec. 2019

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.

See More

First Known Use of whispering


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


1547, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about whispering

Time Traveler for whispering

Time Traveler

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

See more words from the same century

Statistics for whispering

Cite this Entry

“Whispering.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/whispering. Accessed 8 Aug. 2020.

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for whispering


How to pronounce whispering (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of whispering

: something spoken in a very soft or quiet way

Keep scrolling for more

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).


Test Your Vocabulary

Original Meanings Quiz

  • rembrandt painting a young scholar and his tutor
  • Which of the following is the earliest known sense of the word awe?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

Bee Cubed

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!