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

The hallmark gauziness of Day’s soft-voice passages, the resonance of her low notes and the whispering intimacies of her closing tones affirm that a master is at work. Howard Reich, chicagotribune.com, "Why Doris Day reigns as one of the great jazz singers," 30 June 2019 Tontozona remains timeless with the creek and surrounding forest whispering to visitors to put down their phones. Jeff Metcalfe, azcentral, "ASU football returns to Camp Tontozona after $1 million renovations to renew priceless heritage," 31 July 2019 On his head was both a laurel wreath and a golden crown held by a slave, who was also given the task of whispering into the general’s ear reminders of his mortality. Andrea Frediani, National Geographic, "Julius Caesar came. He saw. He conquered. Here's how Rome celebrated.," 10 July 2019 Common stimuli that act as ASMR triggers include whispering, hair brushing, crinkling objects, nail tapping, crunching, chewing and slurping. Annie Vainshtein, SFChronicle.com, "Everything you ever wanted to know about ASMR," 27 June 2019 The most important bit of Big Thief’s identity has stayed the same, though, with frontwoman Adrianne Lenker remaining the core singer, songwriter and heartbeat of the band, her whispering voice and illustrative storytelling front and center. Billboard Staff, Billboard, "The 50 Best Albums of 2019 (So Far): Staff Picks," 3 June 2019 Her friends would rally around her; soon the house would be split into factions, the living room dedicated to whispering and side-eyes, the front stoop to yelling and wide gestures with cigarettes in hand. Aimée Lutkin, Curbed, "Losing a home you’ve already left," 6 June 2019 Bjork wanted Cornucopia to be both intensely intimate, as though the audience could feel her whispering in their ear, and vast, voyeuristic and distant. Chloe Schama, Vogue, "Meet the Set Designer Behind For Björk Latest Showstopping Performance," 10 May 2019 In the background are whisperings of even greater masters who created the Clef by experiments now forbidden. Tom Shippey, WSJ, "Science Fiction: A Bit of Magic Isn’t Always Enough," 12 Oct. 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

27 Aug 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

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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).


to make a temporary encampment

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