Dictionary.com

whiny

or whin路ey

[ hwahy-nee, wahy- ]
/ 藞拾wa瑟 ni, 藞wa瑟- /
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adjective, whin路i路er, whin路i路est.
complaining; fretful; cranky: The baby is whiny because he missed his nap.
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Origin of whiny

First recorded in 1850鈥55; whine + -y1

OTHER WORDS FROM whiny

whin路i路ness, noun
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, 漏 Random House, Inc. 2021

VOCAB BUILDER

What does聽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鈥檛 so whiny about them.

Where does聽whiny聽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 hw墨nan, which is related to the Old Norse hv墨na, meaning 鈥渢o scream.鈥

But whining is not screaming, and being whiny isn鈥檛 the same as throwing a tantrum鈥攊t鈥檚 much more low-key. When we describe someone as whiny, we usually mean that they鈥檙e currently complaining in an annoying way (especially by drawing out their words or speaking in a high-pitched tone), or that they鈥檙e constantly complaining (which is also annoying). It鈥檚 always negative鈥攖here 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鈥檛 do anything to try solve their problems).

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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?聽

What are some words that often get used in discussing whiny?

 

How is聽whiny used in real life?

Whiny is always used negatively. It is often applied to people who are thought to complain too much.

 

 

Try using聽whiny!

Which of the following words is a synonym for whiny?

A. pouty
B. cheerful
C. calm
D. pleasant

How to use whiny in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for whiny

whiny
/ (藞wa瑟n瑟) /

adjective whinier or whiniest
high-pitched and plaintive
peevish; complaining
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition 漏 William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 漏 HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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