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[hwin, win]
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noun Chiefly British.
  1. any thorny or prickly shrub, especially gorse.

Origin of whin

1375–1425; late Middle English whynne, apparently < Scandinavian; compare Icelandic hvīngras bent grass, Danish hvene, Swedish (h)ven
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for whin

Historical Examples

  • An' to hear you say you'll do it, whin I've larnt you, of course, aises me moind wonderful.

    The Widow O'Callaghan's Boys

    Gulielma Zollinger

  • "Whin you're dailin' with b'ys take 'em in toime," was the widow's motto.

  • Whin we get the Bill every man can take a shpade, an' begorra!

    Ireland as It Is

    Robert John Buckley (AKA R.J.B.)

  • Whin we get the bill every man can take a shpade, an', begorra!

    Ireland as It Is

    Robert John Buckley (AKA R.J.B.)

  • There was two girls in the verandah, an' they ran in whin they saw us.

British Dictionary definitions for whin


  1. another name for gorse

Word Origin

C11: from Scandinavian; compare Old Danish hvine (græs), Norwegian hvine, Swedish hven


  1. short for whinstone

Word Origin

C14: quin, of obscure 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