- to speak with soft, hushed sounds, using the breath, lips, etc., but with no vibration of the vocal cords.
- Phonetics. to produce utterance substituting breath for phonation.
- to talk softly and privately (often implying gossip, slander, plotting, or the like): The king knew that the courtiers were whispering.
- (of trees, water, breezes, etc.) to make a soft, rustling sound like that of whispering.
- to utter with soft, low sounds, using the breath, lips, etc.: He whispered endearments to her.
- Phonetics. to utter (speech sounds) substituting breath for phonation.
- to say or tell in a whisper; tell privately.
- to speak to or tell (a person) in a whisper or privately.
- the mode of utterance, or the voice, of a person who whispers: to speak in a whisper.
- a word or remark uttered by whispering.
- a rumor or insinuation: Whispers circulated about the affair.
- a soft, rustling sound like a whisper: the whisper of leaves in the wind.
Origin of whisper
Related Words for whisperhint, innuendo, sigh, murmur, buzz, gossip, breath, shadow, whiff, suspicion, hiss, mutter, confide, mumble, disclosure, confidence, word, insinuation, susurration, hum
Examples from the Web for whisper
Contemporary Examples of whisper
He speaks in a whisper, flanked by the two locals who set up the meeting.The Dangerous Drug-Funded Secret War Between Iran and Pakistan
December 29, 2014
Supporters of the Putin regime were pointed out in a whisper.From Moscow to Queens, Down Sergei Dovlatov Way
September 15, 2014
Darren was the kind of man who'd lug a sofa bed up three flights of stairs without a whisper of complaint.Let Us Now Praise Famous Rednecks and Their Unjustly Unsung Kin
August 23, 2014
“Lilly… Ledbetter…” we whisper to ourselves as we frown at men.Getting to Know the ‘Beyoncé Voter’
Kelly Williams Brown
July 7, 2014
A woman came up to whisper about a case of public corruption.A Woman Blogger’s Scoop Helped Save Tunisia From Islamists
Thomas A. Bass
April 6, 2014
Historical Examples of whisper
She heard him speaking in a voice not louder than a whisper, rapid, distinct.
It was no louder than a whisper from without—the creak of a board.
There was a monotone of desolation as she went on speaking in a whisper meant for the ears of no other.
Her voice was little more than a whisper, but it was loud in the listener's heart.
His tone was hardly louder than a whisper, but spoken with great distinctness.
- to speak or utter (something) in a soft hushed tone, esp without vibration of the vocal cords
- (intr) to speak secretly or furtively, as in promoting intrigue, gossip, etc
- (intr) (of leaves, trees, etc) to make a low soft rustling sound
- (tr) to utter or suggest secretly or privatelyto whisper treason
- a low soft voiceto speak in a whisper
- something uttered in such a voice
- a low soft rustling sound
- a trace or suspicion
- informal a rumour or secret
Word Origin for whisper
Old English hwisprian "speak very softly" (only in a Northumbrian gloss for Latin murmurare), from Proto-Germanic *khwis- (cf. Middle Dutch wispelen, Old High German hwispalon, German wispeln, wispern, Old Norse hviskra "to whisper"), imitative and probably related to Old English hwistlian "to whistle." Related: Whispered; whispering. The noun is from 1590s.
see stage whisper.