[ hwelp, welp ]
/ ʰwɛlp, wɛlp /


the young of the dog, or of the wolf, bear, lion, tiger, seal, etc.
a youth, especially an impudent or despised one.
  1. any of a series of longitudinal projections or ridges on the barrel of a capstan, windlass, etc.
  2. any of the teeth of a sprocket wheel.

verb (used with or without object)

(of a female dog, lion, etc.) to give birth to (young).


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Origin of whelp

before 900; (noun) Middle English; Old English hwelp (cognate with German Welf); (v.) Middle English whelpen, derivative of the noun


whelp·less, adjectiveun·whelped, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2020

Example sentences from the Web for whelp

British Dictionary definitions for whelp

/ (wɛlp) /


a young offspring of certain animals, esp of a wolf or dog
derogatory a young man or youth
jocular a young child
nautical any of the ridges, parallel to the axis, on the drum of a capstan to keep a rope, cable, or chain from slipping


(of an animal or, disparagingly, a woman) to give birth to (young)

Word Origin for whelp

Old English hwelp (a); related to Old High German hwelf, Old Norse hvelpr, Danish hvalp
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