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90s Slang You Should Know


[pyoo-ling] /ˈpyu lɪŋ/
whining; whimpering:
a puling child.
Origin of puling
First recorded in 1520-30; pule + -ing2
Related forms
pulingly, adverb


[pyool] /pyul/
verb (used without object), puled, puling.
to cry in a thin voice; whine; whimper.
First recorded in 1525-35; perhaps imitative
Related forms
puler, noun Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for puling
Historical Examples
  • The puling voice is crushed by the chorus, which protests that the heavens are above Count Orso.

    Vittoria, Complete George Meredith
  • Nay, if I die, let me die like a man, not like a puling girl.

    Happy Days Alan Alexander Milne
  • A bully, a coward, a puling milksop, is all the character he beareth.

    Mary Anerley R. D. Blackmore
  • I was a fool ever to have got mixed up with such a white-livered, puling baby.

    Ted and the Telephone Sara Ware Bassett
  • There will be no half-way measures, no puling hesitation, no weakness, and it will be a fight to the death in the open.

    The Sins of the Father Thomas Dixon
  • If there be one thing for which I profess no sympathy, it is puling sentiment.

    A Pessimist Robert Timsol
  • The vision of no puling fantastic girl, of no sick-bed somnambule, but of a strong man, with a vigorous brain.

  • It was a helpless, puling, tender thing, demanding his sympathy and his love.

    Jennie Gerhardt Theodore Dreiser
  • A puling fool, not worthy even to breed her kind into the world.

    Nicanor - Teller of Tales C. Bryson Taylor
  • At home, the children lay in her arms or tumbled at her heels, puling and foul.

    Tales of Mean Streets Arthur Morrison
British Dictionary definitions for puling


(intransitive) to cry plaintively; whimper
Derived Forms
puler, noun
Word Origin
C16: perhaps of imitative origin
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for puling



"cry in a thin, weak voice," 1530s, from French piauler (16c.) "to cheep, chirp," echoic (cf. Italian pigolare "to cheep as a chicken"). Related: Puled; puling.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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