Definition of whisper in English:

whisper

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

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
    formal susurrate
  • 1.1 literary (Of leaves, wind, or water) rustle or murmur softly.
    More 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
    murmur, mutter, mumble, low voice, undertone
    rare sibilation
    formal 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.

Derivatives

whispery

adjective
More 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.

Origin

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

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