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whisper

Syllabification: whis·per
Pronunciation: /ˈ(h)wispər
 
/

Definition of whisper in English:

verb

[no object]
1Speak very softly using one’s breath without one’s vocal cords, especially for the sake of privacy: Alison was whispering in his ear [with object]: he managed to whisper a faint goodbye [with direct speech]: “Are you all right?” he whispered
More example sentences
  • She can speak English but prefers to whisper in my ear rather than talking out loud in the noisy bar area.
  • Gaffle raised a hand to Pintom's ear and whispered a short conversation.
  • His eyes dart around and he whispers as he speaks as if what he's telling me is top secret.
Synonyms
murmur, mutter, mumble, speak softly, breathe;
hiss
literary susurrate
1.1 literary (Of leaves, wind, or water) rustle or murmur softly.
Example sentences
  • Roots burrow under my feet and leaves whisper to each other from opposite sides of the valley.
  • The flowers swayed in the breeze and the grass and leaves whispered with them.
  • The wind was whispering quietly in the trees, which were illuminated by a half hidden full moon.
Synonyms
1.2 (be whispered) Be rumored: it was whispered that he would soon die
More example sentences
  • When the original SMiLE sessions were taking place, it was whispered that the material was far too bizarre to be released.
  • It was whispered that government research continued at a nearby secret mountain complex where Special Ops field agents were trained.
  • Still, it was whispered that she had the gift of second sight.

noun

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1A soft or confidential tone of voice; a whispered word or phrase: she spoke in a whisper
More example sentences
  • Her voice was barely a whisper but the words echoed in her head like a jackhammer.
  • His voice was a whisper, the words forced out in one breath.
  • She touched the ruby lightly as she spoke, her voice nearing a whisper with every word spoken.
Synonyms
literary susurration
1.1 literary A soft rustling or murmuring sound: the thunder of the surf became a muted whisper
More example sentences
  • For a while the only sound was the hushed whisper of the passing river.
  • The only sound is the faint whisper of the air-conditioning.
  • There was no sound besides the light whisper of the breeze.
Synonyms
rustle, murmur, sigh, whoosh, swish
1.2A rumor or piece of gossip: whispers of a blossoming romance
More example sentences
  • So there are hints, whispers, rumours, emails and questions but, significantly, no answers.
  • So, once again, we're into the world of whispers and sources, rumours, winks and knowing nods.
  • There was a rumour, a whisper, of a deeper malaise in the state.
Synonyms
rumor, story, report, speculation, insinuation, suggestion, hint
informal buzz
1.3 [usually in singular] A slight trace; a hint: he didn’t show even a whisper of interest
More example sentences
  • There was a whisper of TV interest from a ‘major UK network’ today.
  • It carries a hint of greed and a whisper of skulduggery.
  • When not a whisper of a reply came I reached out and gently touched her cheek.

Origin

Old English hwisprian, of Germanic origin; related to German wispeln, from the imitative base of whistle.

Derivatives

whispery

1
adjective
Example sentences
  • Stina Nordenstam doesn't play live, barely does interviews, generally resists being photographed and sings in a small, whispery voice that sounds as if it's escaping between bouts of sobbing.
  • At Bangalore, there are moments when Knopfler's guttural whispery vocals, particularly when the score demands a softer tone, seem to be drowned out by the percussion and strings.
  • Lead guitar and vocalist Andrew Kenny, has a relaxed and often whispery quality on the mic that is a perfect compliment to AMS's sound.

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Pronunciation: ˌvīˈjesəm(ə)l
adjective
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