• synonyms


  1. whining; whimpering: a puling child.
Show More

Origin of puling

First recorded in 1520–30; pule + -ing2
Related formspul·ing·ly, adverb


verb (used without object), puled, pul·ing.
  1. to cry in a thin voice; whine; whimper.
Show More

Origin of pule

First recorded in 1525–35; perhaps imitative
Related formspul·er, noun
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words


Examples from the Web for puling

Historical Examples

  • Even the puling creature writhed under the lash of Mary's tones.

    Within the Law

    Marvin Dana

  • But 'tis a puling fool, more fitting for the bowers of ladies.'

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

  • What right has he to have a son like that when I have nothing but a puling girl?

  • These ideas will not suit the puling sentimentalism of the boudoir and the boarding-school.

    The Quadroon

    Mayne Reid

British Dictionary definitions for puling


  1. (intr) to cry plaintively; whimper
Show More
Derived Formspuler, 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

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.

Show More
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper