whisper

[hwis-per, wis-per]

verb (used without object)

verb (used with object)

noun


Origin of whisper

before 950; Middle English whisperen (v.), Old English hwisprian; cognate with German wispern; akin to Old Norse hviskra to whisper, hvīsla to whistle. See whine
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019


Examples from the Web for whisper

Contemporary Examples of whisper

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.

    Within the Law

    Marvin Dana

  • Her voice was little more than a whisper, but it was loud in the listener's heart.

    Within the Law

    Marvin Dana

  • His tone was hardly louder than a whisper, but spoken with great distinctness.

    Within the Law

    Marvin Dana


British Dictionary definitions for whisper

whisper

verb

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

noun

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; 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

Word Origin and History for whisper
v.

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.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Idioms and Phrases with whisper

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.