[ hwim-per, wim- ]
/ ˈʰwɪm pər, ˈwɪm- /

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.

Nearby words

  1. whilom,
  2. whilst,
  3. whim,
  4. whim-wham,
  5. whimbrel,
  6. whimsey,
  7. whimsical,
  8. whimsicality,
  9. whimsically,
  10. whimsy

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

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for whimper

British Dictionary definitions for whimper


/ (ˈwɪmpə) /


(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