Share this entry

whim Syllabification: whim

Definition of whim in English:


1A sudden desire or change of mind, especially one that is unusual or unexplained: she bought it on a whim he appeared and disappeared at whim
More example sentences
  • Apparently on a whim, Wonka suddenly decides to reopen his doors to five children.
  • She did it on a whim when the opportunity presented itself, and she died four days later.
  • He opened the door on a whim, expecting nothing, but instead, he was faced with four sets of eyes.
impulse, urge, notion, fancy, foible, caprice, conceit, vagary, inclination, megrim
2 archaic A windlass for raising ore or water from a mine.
Example sentences
  • Work was soon hampered by an inflow of large volumes of underground water in several shafts, keeping the whims occupied day and night.


Late 17th century: of unknown origin. sense 2 (mid 18th century) is a transferred use.

Words that rhyme with whim

bedim, brim, crim, dim, glim, grim, Grimm, gym, him, hymn, Jim, Kim, limb, limn, nim, prim, scrim, shim, Sim, skim, slim, swim, Tim, trim, vim

Share this entry


What do you find interesting about this word or phrase?

Comments that don't adhere to our Community Guidelines may be moderated or removed.

Get more from Oxford Dictionaries

Subscribe to remove ads and access premium resources