OTHER WORDS FROM whinywhin·i·ness, noun
Words nearby whiny
What does whiny mean?
Whiny is an adjective describing someone who is complaining in an annoying way, especially in a high-pitched tone of voice.
To whine is to moan or make a high-pitched cry, or to say something in such a way. It also means to complain, especially by talking in such a way. Whiny is always used negatively to criticize such behavior. It can be used to describe a person or their words or actions. It is also spelled whiney.
Example: People might help you with your problems if you weren’t so whiny about them.
Where does whiny come from?
The first records of the word whiny come from the 1850s. It is a combination of whine and the suffix –y, which is used to turn it into an adjective. Whine is much older and is based on the Old English hwīnan, which is related to the Old Norse hvīna, meaning “to scream.”
But whining is not screaming, and being whiny isn’t the same as throwing a tantrum—it’s much more low-key. When we describe someone as whiny, we usually mean that they’re currently complaining in an annoying way (especially by drawing out their words or speaking in a high-pitched tone), or that they’re constantly complaining (which is also annoying). It’s always negative—there are no good ways to be whiny.
Children are described as whiny when they moan and complain about not getting their way. Of course, adults can be whiny, too. They may be less likely to speak in the whiny way that children sometimes do, but they can be called whiny if they constantly gripe about things (especially if they don’t do anything to try solve their problems).
Did you know ... ?
What are some other forms related to whiny?
- whiney (alternate spelling)
- whinier (adjective, comparative degree)
- whiniest (adjective, superlative degree)
- whininess (noun)
What are some synonyms for whiny?
What are some words that share a root or word element with whiny?
What are some words that often get used in discussing whiny?
How is whiny used in real life?
Whiny is always used negatively. It is often applied to people who are thought to complain too much.
If you honestly don't like the game, you don't have to play it.
If you do like the game, stop being so whiny about every single thing.
— Dandy Penguin (@Dandy_Penguin) September 25, 2016
“Yeah I’m still single”
• framed as a personal failure
“None of mankind’s champions have yet proven worthy”
• Powerful demigod vibes
• affirmation of high standards
• discourages cowards
— Light (@AriianaLT) February 23, 2020
Political Twitter strikes me as particularly whiney tonight. People are voting. We get to see what they want. We don't have to speculate. We should celebrate this. Super Tuesday will make things clearer. It's only three days away!
— Karen Tumulty (@ktumulty) March 1, 2020
Try using whiny!
Which of the following words is a synonym for whiny?
How to use whiny in a sentence
We all know that somehow, inevitably, the outlet next to your specific airplane seat won’t work, so rather than deal with a whiny kid for the final four hours of your journey, invest in a pair that can last for up to 20 hours on a single charge.The best kids’ headphones let them listen more and you worry less|Tony Ware|August 25, 2021|Popular-Science
After I've been listening to a whiny kid keep complaining for a whole hour.Disabled Metro train strands 109 passengers in Northeast Washington|Justin George|March 26, 2021|Washington Post
Any argument I try to hold comes tumbling out in the form of a whiny temper tantrum.
Or maybe we are just whiny wimps, an all-purpose explanation for every descent-of-man phenomenon that never is far off the mark.Blame Climate Change for Your Terrible Seasonal Allergies|Kent Sepkowitz|May 14, 2014|DAILY BEAST
Crystal visits the Catskills, symbolically, in the show, but his humor is far from the whiny Allen mentality.Comedy Is His Calling: The Brilliance of Billy Crystal|Tom Shales|April 18, 2014|DAILY BEAST
Not that we're all a bunch of whiny babies who can't handle change.
Drudge and Boyle responded by calling Obama a whiny race-baiter.Brilliant Speech by Obama, Ugly Reaction by Drudge|Peter Beinart|May 20, 2013|DAILY BEAST
I do dislike Mrs. Pryor talking in that whiny-piny voice; and how disagreeable she was about Puck.Salome|Emma Marshall
It certainly didn't sound like Tom Grollins's whiny treble, but then—perhaps he was pretending, so as to put her off.The Rainbow Book Tales of Fun & Fancy|Mabel Henriette Spielmann
"Beth, you really are a whiny child, you always have a grievance," her mother complained.The Beth Book|Sarah Grand
"I wish I'd had a brother instead of two whiny little kiddy sisters," said Peter.The Railway Children|E. Nesbit
His familiar whiny voice he lifted to so high a pitch that every man and boy there heard him.Old Judge Priest|Irvin S. Cobb