[hwim-per, wim-]

verb (used without object)

to cry with low, plaintive, broken sounds.

verb (used with object)

to utter in a whimper.


a whimpering cry or sound.

Origin of whimper

1505–15; obsolete whimp to whine + -er6
Related formswhim·per·er, nounwhim·per·ing·ly, adverbun·whim·per·ing, adjectiveun·whim·per·ing·ly, adverb

Synonyms for whimper

1. whine, weep, sob. 3. whine, sob.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Related Words for whimper

moan, weep, bleat, sob, fuss, pule, object, whine, snivel, blubber, complain, mewl

Examples from the Web for whimper

Contemporary Examples of whimper

Historical Examples of whimper

  • Gave it up, as you did, without a whimper or even a whisper?

    Galusha the Magnificent

    Joseph C. Lincoln

  • I might be a "Babe in the Wood," but he should not have the satisfaction of hearing me whimper.

    Kent Knowles: Quahaug

    Joseph C. Lincoln

  • Ralph would rather have heard him whimper and shuffle as he had done before.

  • "Your father is nothing but an ache and a stound to you, lass," Sim would say in a whimper.

  • Liza, frightened again, began once more to whimper prettily.

British Dictionary definitions for whimper



(intr) to cry, sob, or whine softly or intermittently
to complain or say (something) in a whining plaintive way


a soft plaintive whine
Derived Formswhimperer, nounwhimpering, nounwhimperingly, adverb

Word Origin for whimper

C16: from dialect whimp, 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 whimper

1510s, probably of imitative origin, or from German wimmern "to whimper, moan." The noun is first recorded c.1700. Related: Whimpered; whimpering.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper