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90s Slang You Should Know


[hwahyn, wahyn] /ʰwaɪn, waɪn/
verb (used without object), whined, whining.
to utter a low, usually nasal, complaining cry or sound, as from uneasiness, discontent, peevishness, etc.:
The puppies were whining from hunger.
to snivel or complain in a peevish, self-pitying way:
He is always whining about his problems.
verb (used with object), whined, whining.
to utter with or as if with a whine:
I whined my litany of complaints.
a whining utterance, sound, or tone.
a feeble, peevish complaint.
Origin of whine
before 1150; Middle English whinen (v.), Old English hwīnan to whiz; cognate with Old Norse hvīna
Related forms
whiner, noun
whiningly, adverb
unwhining, adjective
unwhiningly, adverb
Can be confused
wine, whine.
1. moan, whimper.
Synonym Study
2. See complain. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for whine
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • He heard the faithful creature moan and whine round him and lie down by his side.

    The Rival Crusoes W.H.G. Kingston
  • And since he could not sing, and would not whine, silence alone was left him.

    Antony Gray,--Gardener Leslie Moore
  • The silence was broken by the zip-zip of rifles, the roar of guns, and the whine of shells as they flew towards our lines.

  • There issues the whine of distress, beside the glittering carriage-wheels.

    Humanity in the City E. H. Chapin
  • A hum and a whine and then a shrill whistle which went up in pitch until it wasn't anything at all.

    Space Tug Murray Leinster
British Dictionary definitions for whine


a long high-pitched plaintive cry or moan
a continuous high-pitched sound
a peevish complaint, esp one repeated
to make a whine or utter in a whine
Derived Forms
whiner, noun
whining, adjective
whiningly, adverb
Word Origin
Old English hwīnan; related to Old Norse hvīna, Swedish hvija to scream
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 whine

Old English hwinan "to whiz or whistle through the air" (only of arrows), also hwinsian "to whine" (of dogs), ultimately of imitative origin (cf. Old Norse hvina "to whiz," German wiehern "to neigh"). Meaning "to complain in a feeble way" is first recorded 1520s. Related: Whined; whining.


1630s, from whine (v.).


1630s, from whine (v.).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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