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whisper

Line breaks: whis|per
Pronunciation: /ˈwɪspə
 
/

Definition of whisper in English:

verb

[reporting verb]
1Speak very softly using one’s breath rather than one’s throat, especially for the sake of secrecy: [no object]: 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/say softly, speak/say in muted tones, speak/say in hushed tones, speak/say sotto voce;
breathe, purr, say under one's breath
1.1 (be whispered) Be rumoured: 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.
1.2 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

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, hushed tone, undertone
1.1A rumour 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
rumour, story, report, speculation, insinuation, suggestion, hint;
(whispers)gossip, hearsay, word, scandal, tittle-tattle, idle talk;
Frenchon dit, bavardage;
West Indian labrish, shu-shu
informal buzz
British informal goss
North American informal scuttlebutt
Australian/New Zealand informal furphy
South African informal skinder
rare bruit
1.2 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, moan, sough, whoosh, whir, swish
babble, burble, purl, lap
literary plash
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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Word of the day sacerdotal
Pronunciation: ˌsasərˈdōtl
adjective
relating to priests or the priesthood; priestly