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[hwahyn, wahyn]
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verb (used without object), whined, whin·ing.
  1. to utter a low, usually nasal, complaining cry or sound, as from uneasiness, discontent, peevishness, etc.: The puppies were whining from hunger.
  2. to snivel or complain in a peevish, self-pitying way: He is always whining about his problems.
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verb (used with object), whined, whin·ing.
  1. to utter with or as if with a whine: I whined my litany of complaints.
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  1. a whining utterance, sound, or tone.
  2. a feeble, peevish complaint.
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Origin of whine

before 1150; Middle English whinen (v.), Old English hwīnan to whiz; cognate with Old Norse hvīna
Related formswhin·er, nounwhin·ing·ly, adverbun·whin·ing, adjectiveun·whin·ing·ly, adverb
Can be confusedwine whine


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Synonym study

2. See complain.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words


Examples from the Web for whiner

Historical Examples

  • For the whiner got even less mercy from these men, than he that defied and outfaced them.

    The Men of the Moss-Hags

    S. R. Crockett

  • He had enough to do in the cabin, and this outdoor performance was no work, anyway, for a whiner.

  • Six boys and a whiner were asleep in their bunks in the log cabin when that awesome sound first smote the air.

  • No doubt I might have gone whining to Andy and made him take back all the things he said, but I am no whiner.

  • I have just carried unpoliteness far enough to make her afraid of me; and to shew her, that I am no whiner.

    Clarissa, Volume 3 (of 9)

    Samuel Richardson

British Dictionary definitions for whiner


  1. a long high-pitched plaintive cry or moan
  2. a continuous high-pitched sound
  3. a peevish complaint, esp one repeated
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  1. to make a whine or utter in a whine
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Derived Formswhiner, nounwhining, adjectivewhiningly, adverb

Word Origin

Old English hwīnan; related to Old Norse hvīna, Swedish hvija to scream
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 whiner



1630s, from whine (v.).

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Old English hwinan "to whiz or whistle through the air" (only of arrows), also hwinsian "to whine" (of dogs), ultimately of imitative origin (cf. Old Norse hvina "to whiz," German wiehern "to neigh"). Meaning "to complain in a feeble way" is first recorded 1520s. Related: Whined; whining.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper