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

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

Other Words from whispering


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

Examples of whispering in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Chicken slices scattered with mushrooms and whispering of marsala proves quietly satisfying, like the service here. Tom Sietsema, Washington Post, 16 Sep. 2022 In recreating John’s testimony, the duo worked on layering individual tracks from whispering and murmurs to courtroom audio for the scene to work. Jazz Tangcay, Variety, 9 Aug. 2022 There’s only so much whispering that can be directed at jets. Mark Feeney, BostonGlobe.com, 16 May 2022 Winter was serenaded with blood orange and other colorful citrus slices in a salad sharpened with red onion and whispering of Sicilian oregano. Washington Post, 6 Oct. 2021 The scene was still eerie: the gloom, the heat, the whispering, the low, insistent whine of the jet engine, the mass of dim faces crowded so close together. Isaac Chotiner, The New Yorker, 4 Aug. 2021 On one hand, there was a bevy of huge, crazy Tribal Councils with last-second whispering and maneuvering leading to jaw-dropping exits. Dalton Ross, EW.com, 9 Dec. 2021 Days after her August surgery, Griffin said in an Instagram video that her voice was still really hoarse, half-whispering in a gruff, barely recognizable voice. Nardine Saad, Los Angeles Times, 1 Dec. 2021 But because Cage didn’t hear the whispering voices that would lead them to the tree of life, he gets zapped in the flare. Ben Flanagan | Bflanagan@al.com, al, 25 Nov. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective The stage has been extended into the theater to create greater proximity to the audience, and the actors strive for naturalism, but the whispering quality that Nelson achieved isn’t feasible in this grander space. Charles Mcnultytheater Critic, Los Angeles Times, 7 June 2022 No more whispering in the remote and soft-spoken Mountain West. San Diego Union-Tribune, 13 Jan. 2022 See More

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.

First Known Use of whispering


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


1547, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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

Dictionary Entries Near whispering

whisper glottis


whispering bells

See More Nearby Entries 

Statistics for whispering

Last Updated

18 Sep 2022

Cite this Entry

“Whispering.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/whispering. Accessed 30 Sep. 2022.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon


Test Your Vocabulary

Words Named After People

  • name tags
  • Namesake of the leotard, Jules Léotard had what profession?
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

Universal Daily Crossword

A daily challenge for crossword fanatics.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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