• synonyms


[hwin-ee, win-ee]
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verb (used without object), whin·nied, whin·ny·ing.
  1. to utter the characteristic cry of a horse; neigh.
verb (used with object), whin·nied, whin·ny·ing.
  1. to express by whinnying.
noun, plural whin·nies.
  1. a whinnying sound.

Origin of whinny

1520–30; imitative; compare earlier whrinny, Latin hinnīre
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for whinny

Historical Examples

  • Out in the stable the horse repeated its former challenging 237 whinny.

    A Breath of Prairie and other stories

    Will Lillibridge

  • From the far distance she thought she heard the beginning of a whinny in reply.

  • It was pitiful to hear him whinny as he smelt the water in the distance, and not to be able to get him any.

  • The room was dark and he listened on the sill, if he might hear him whinny.

    Chimney-Pot Papers

    Charles S. Brooks

  • Page 8, changed "midnigh" to "midnight" and "whinney" to "whinny."

    White Dandy; or, Master and I

    Velma Caldwell Melville

British Dictionary definitions for whinny


verb -nies, -nying or -nied (intr)
  1. (of a horse) to neigh softly or gently
  2. to make a sound resembling a neigh, such as a laugh
noun plural -nies
  1. a gentle or low-pitched neigh

Word Origin

C16: 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

Word Origin and History for whinny


1520s, probably related to whine and ultimately imitative (cf. Latin hinnire).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper