[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.
verb (used with object), whined, whin·ing.
  1. to utter with or as if with a whine: I whined my litany of complaints.
  1. a whining utterance, sound, or tone.
  2. a feeble, peevish complaint.

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

Synonyms for whine

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Synonym study

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

Examples from the Web for whining

Contemporary Examples of whining

Historical Examples of whining

  • I thought only of myself, and I behaved like a whining, unbalanced boy.

  • And over all was a constant hum, a crackling, a whining of spinning parts.

    Slaves of Mercury

    Nat Schachner

  • Whining with eagerness, he followed back from the river bank and in among the trees.

    White Fang

    Jack London

  • A carpenter was singing in his work-shop, accompanied by the whining of his plane.


    Emile Zola

  • The whining dogs are preying upon your simpleness, mistress Israel.

    The Scapegoat

    Hall Caine

British Dictionary definitions for whining


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

Word Origin for whine

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 whining



1630s, from whine (v.).



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.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper