[ hwis-per, wis-per ]
See synonyms for: whisperwhisperedwhispering on Thesaurus.com

verb (used without object)
  1. to speak with soft, hushed sounds, using the breath, lips, etc., but with no vibration of the vocal cords.

  2. Phonetics. to produce utterance substituting breath for phonation.

  1. to talk softly and privately (often implying gossip, slander, plotting, or the like): The king knew that the courtiers were whispering.

  2. (of trees, water, breezes, etc.) to make a soft, rustling sound like that of whispering.

verb (used with object)
  1. to utter with soft, low sounds, using the breath, lips, etc.: He whispered endearments to her.

  2. Phonetics. to utter (speech sounds) substituting breath for phonation.

  1. to say or tell in a whisper; tell privately.

  2. to speak to or tell (a person) in a whisper or privately.

  1. the mode of utterance, or the voice, of a person who whispers: to speak in a whisper.

  2. a word or remark uttered by whispering.

  1. a rumor or insinuation: Whispers circulated about the affair.

  2. a soft, rustling sound like a whisper: the whisper of leaves in the wind.

Origin of whisper

First recorded before 950; Middle English whisperen (verb), Old English hwisprian; akin to German wispern, Old Norse hviskra, hvīsla “to whistle”; cf. whine

Words Nearby whisper

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2024

How to use whisper in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for whisper


/ (ˈwɪspə) /

  1. to speak or utter (something) in a soft hushed tone, esp without vibration of the vocal cords

  2. (intr) to speak secretly or furtively, as in promoting intrigue, gossip, etc

  1. (intr) (of leaves, trees, etc) to make a low soft rustling sound

  2. (tr) to utter or suggest secretly or privately: to whisper treason

  1. a low soft voice: to speak in a whisper

  2. something uttered in such a voice

  1. a low soft rustling sound

  2. a trace or suspicion

  3. informal a rumour or secret

Origin of whisper

Old English hwisprian; related to Old Norse hvīskra, Old High German hwispalōn, Dutch wispern

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

Other Idioms and Phrases with whisper


see stage whisper.

The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.