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[wimp] /wɪmp/ Informal.
a weak, ineffectual, timid person.
Verb phrases
wimp out,
  1. to be or act like a wimp.
  2. to show timidity or cowardice; chicken out.
Origin of wimp
1915-20, Americanism; origin uncertain; cf. whimper


[wimp] /wɪmp/
any of a group of weakly interacting elementary particles predicted by various unified field theories, as the W particle and Z-zero particle, that are characterized by relatively large masses.
1985-90; W(eakly) I(nteracting) M(assive) P(article) Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for wimp
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • Grodman saw it and watched her, and fooled wimp to the top of his bent.

    The Big Bow Mystery I. Zangwill
  • wimp did what work he could do at home in a secluded study at the top of the house.

    The Big Bow Mystery I. Zangwill
  • Mr. wimp's card-castle would have tumbled to pieces without your assistance.

    The Big Bow Mystery I. Zangwill
  • This was wimp's wife's mother's mother, a lady of sweet seventy.

    The Big Bow Mystery I. Zangwill
  • At this moment wimp felt that Grodman had been right in remaining a bachelor.

    The Big Bow Mystery I. Zangwill
British Dictionary definitions for wimp


(informal) a feeble ineffective person See also wimp out
Derived Forms
wimpish, wimpy, adjective
Word Origin
C20: of unknown origin


windows, icons, menus (or mice), pointers: denoting a type of user-friendly screen display used on small computers: a WIMP system
(physics) weakly interacting massive particle
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 wimp

1920 (but not attested again until 1960), perhaps a clipped form of whimper (cf whimp, 1540s), perhaps influenced by J. Wellington Wimpy, comparatively unaggressive character in "Popeye" comics.


1986, with out (adv.), from wimp (n.). Related: Wimped; wimping.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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wimp in Science
Short for weakly interacting massive particle. Any of various hypothetical particles, some predicted by certain theories such as supersymmetry, which interact with other particles by the force of gravity alone. WIMPs are considered by some scientists to be candidates for the dark matter that makes up much of the mass of the universe.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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Slang definitions & phrases for wimp



An ineffectual person; a soft, silly person; a weakling; drip, nebbish: Unmacho. Short hair, glasses, awkward, uncertain. WIMP/ his unfortunate and unfounded charge that Thompson portrayed him as a ''wimp''/ Apparently whimps complained it was too hot

[1960s+ College students; origin unknown; perhaps fr J Wellington Wimpy, a relatively unaggressive character in the comic strip ''Popeye''; perhaps fr the early 1900s British university wimp ''young woman,'' perhaps fr whimper; occurs in a 1920 George Ade story, which may be the source of the term, used more in intervening years in the adjective form wimpish]

wimp out

verb phrase

To cancel or withdraw from an action or place because of fear; chicken out: I could feel for my friend because I've wimped out on the assertive front/ ''I know it seems disrespectful to you,'' I wimped (1980s+)

The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
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wimp in Technology

operating system
Windows, Icons, Menus and Pointers (or maybe Windows, Icons, Mouse, Pull-down menus).
The style of graphical user interface invented at Xerox PARC, popularised by the Apple Macintosh and now available in other varieties such as the X Window System, OSF/Motif, NeWS, RISC OS and Microsoft Windows.
See menuitis, user-obsequious, window system.

The Free On-line Dictionary of Computing, © Denis Howe 2010
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Related Abbreviations for wimp


window, icon, menu, pointing [device]
window, icon, mouse, pull-down [menu]
The American Heritage® Abbreviations Dictionary, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
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