Definition of whimsy in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˈ(h)wimzē/
(also whimsey)

noun (plural whimsies or whimseys)

1Playfully quaint or fanciful behavior or humor: the film is an awkward blend of whimsy and moralizing
More example sentences
  • Jarmusch directs with a deadpan tone throughout, always at a slow, sometimes funereal pace, his humour full of whimsy and subversion but prone to moments of idiosyncrasy that slip towards pretension.
  • Come celebrate with the young artists in attendance as they inject fresh colour, life, scent, spirit, humour and unselfconscious whimsy into our art scene.
  • In my opinion the eyes are almost the most important part of the toy, giving it so much personality - humour, whimsy, cuteness, scariness and so on.
1.1A whim.
Example sentences
  • At the whimsy of the jail administration, months of hard work sealing the cracks with toothpaste were rendered redundant.
  • I noticed that Paul Johnson has dropped the whimsy and got stuck in to some serious vitriol throwing.
  • Nothing can be called a sport that depends on the whimsy of ‘artistic impression’ and the opinions of nine judges.
1.2A thing that is fanciful or odd: the stone carvings and whimsies
More example sentences
  • A strange whimsy makes a grim memory of smoke and fog no less grim but perhaps more haunting.
  • Place to buy meaningless whimsy if you have nothing else to do with your dough: Small Crafts Advisory, 9803 Third Ave., Stone Harbor.


Early 17th century (in the sense 'caprice'): probably based on whim-wham.

  • The first sense of this was ‘a sudden fancy, a whim’. The word comes from whim-wham, first recorded in the 1520s and meaning ‘a decorative object, a trinket’, and ‘an odd notion or fancy’. Whim, which first meant ‘a pun or play on words’, also came from whim-wham in the 17th century.

Words that rhyme with whimsy


For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: whim·sy

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