Definition of whimper in English:


Syllabification: whim·per
Pronunciation: /ˈ(h)wimpər


[no object]
1(Of a person or animal) make a series of low, feeble sounds expressive of fear, pain, or discontent: a child in a bed nearby began to whimper
More example sentences
  • Afraid for the first time of the darkness, he began to whimper in fear.
  • Suddenly, she heard something that sounded like a child whimpering to her right.
  • Just then we heard the courthouse doors open and the sound of a dog whimpering.
1.1 [with direct speech] Say something in a low, feeble voice expressive of fear or pain: “He’s not dead, is he?” she whimpered


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1A low, feeble sound expressive of fear or pain: she gave a little whimper of protest
More example sentences
  • The disembodied voices were most striking - patients' miserable repeated calls for help, muted protests, inarticulate moans, and whimpers.
  • He whines, whimpers and barks at anything that dares enter our garden, even if it's only birds doing a fly over.
  • Her voice once light and melodic now deep and whispery, whimpers and moans sounding out into the night to join the other sounds.
1.1 (a whimper) A feeble or anticlimactic tone or ending: their first appearance in the top flight ended with a whimper rather than a bang
[with allusion to T. S. Eliot's “This is the way the world ends Not with a bang but a whimper” (Hollow Men, 1925)]
More example sentences
  • Bonfire night celebrations in Middleton, near Pickering, may go off with a whimper rather than a bang this year after the village bonfire party was cancelled.
  • They have to know they were lucky to get out of Miami with Kerry having scored a whimper rather than a bang.
  • This insight goes a long way to explain why the war ended as it did, with a whimper rather than a bang.


early 16th century: from dialect whimp 'to whimper', of imitative origin.



More example sentences
  • You can listen to the whimperers all the day long, crying loud cries and prayers, and professing with great tears that they love God.
  • Likewise, the whimperers are only a minority of the American people, but they're even more plugged in - in the media, in politics, in the academy.
  • No whimperers have complained about being the victims of injustice.


More example sentences
  • I took a tablet, drained another bottle of water, and retreated whimperingly to my bed.
  • One of the detectives who arrested him testified that the bootlegger, white & shaky from an exchange of gunfire, had whimperingly offered two detectives $50 apiece to let him go.
  • Drink however oiled the locks on his prison door and enabled him to wittily or whimperingly pick his way out of the cell.

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