[hwim-zi-kuh l, wim-]


given to whimsy or fanciful notions; capricious: a pixyish, whimsical fellow.
of the nature of or proceeding from whimsy, as thoughts or actions: Her writing showed whimsical notions of human behavior.
erratic; unpredictable: He was too whimsical with regard to his work.

Origin of whimsical

First recorded in 1645–55; whims(y) + -ical
Related formswhim·si·cal·ly, adverbun·whim·si·cal, adjectiveun·whim·si·cal·ly, adverbun·whim·si·cal·ness, noun
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for whimsical

Contemporary Examples of whimsical

Historical Examples of whimsical

  • Mary rejoined, with a whimsical pout, as she seated herself.

    Within the Law

    Marvin Dana

  • He realized its hopelessness when K. lapsed into whimsical humor.


    Mary Roberts Rinehart

  • All of which is an easy logic, but a whimsical enough way of putting it.

  • With a whimsical shake of the head Coryston returned to his chair.

    The Coryston Family

    Mrs. Humphry Ward

  • Gilbert exclaimed, looking up at Henry with a whimsical smile.

    Changing Winds

    St. John G. Ervine

British Dictionary definitions for whimsical



spontaneously fanciful or playful
given to whims; capricious
quaint, unusual, or fantastic
Derived Formswhimsicality (ˌwɪmzɪˈkælɪtɪ), nounwhimsically, adverbwhimsicalness, noun
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 whimsical

1650s, from whimsy. Related: Whimsically.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper