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Webster 1913 Edition


Whisper

Whis′per

,
Verb.
I.
[
imp. & p. p.
Whispered
;
p. pr. & vb. n.
Whispering
.]
[AS.
hwisprian
; akin to G.
wispern
,
wispeln
, OHG.
hwispal[GREEK]n
, Icel.
hvīskra
, Sw.
hviska
, Dan.
hviske
; of imitative origin. Cf.
Whistle
.]
1.
To speak softly, or under the breath, so as to be heard only by one near at hand; to utter words without sonant breath; to talk without that vibration in the larynx which gives sonorous, or vocal, sound. See
Whisper
,
Noun.
2.
To make a low, sibilant sound or noise.
The hollow,
whispering
breeze.
Thomson.
3.
To speak with suspicion, or timorous caution; to converse in whispers, as in secret plotting.
All that hate me
whisper
together against me.
Ps. xli. 7.

Whis′per

,
Verb.
T.
1.
To utter in a low and nonvocal tone; to say under the breath; hence, to mention privately and confidentially, or in a whisper.
They might buzz and
whisper
it one to another.
Bentley.
2.
To address in a whisper, or low voice.
[Archaic]
And
whisper
one another in the ear.
Shakespeare
Where gentlest breezes
whisper
souls distressed.
Keble.
3.
To prompt secretly or cautiously; to inform privately.
[Obs.]
“He came to whisper Wolsey.”
Shak.

Whis′per

,
Noun.
1.
A low, soft, sibilant voice or utterance, which can be heard only by those near at hand; voice or utterance that employs only breath sound without tone, friction against the edges of the vocal cords and arytenoid cartilages taking the place of the vibration of the cords that produces tone; sometimes, in a limited sense, the sound produced by such friction as distinguished from breath sound made by friction against parts of the mouth. See
Voice
,
Noun.
, 2, and Guide to Pronunciation, §§ 5, 153, 154.
The inward voice or
whisper
can not give a tone.
Bacon.
Soft
whispers
through the assembly went.
Dryden.
2.
A cautious or timorous speech.
South.
3.
Something communicated in secret or by whispering; a suggestion or insinuation.
4.
A low, sibilant sound.
“The whispers of the leaves.”
Tennyson.

Webster 1828 Edition


Whisper

WHISPER

,
Verb.
I.
[L. The word seems by its sound to be an onomatopy, as it expresses a sibilant sound or breathing.]
1.
To speak with a low hissing or sibilant voice. It is ill manners to whisper in company.
The hollow whispring breeze--
2.
To speak with suspicion or timorous caution.
3.
To plot secretly; to devise in mischief.
All that hate me whisper together against me. Psalm 41.

WHISPER

,
Verb.
T.
1.
To address in a low voice. He whispers the man in the ear. [But this is elliptical for whispers to.]
2.
To utter in a low sibilant voice. He whispered a word in my ear.
3.
To prompt secretly; as, the came to whisper Woolsey.

WHISPER

,
Noun.
1.
A low soft sibilant voice; or words uttered with such a voice.
The whisper cannot give a tone.
Soft whispers through the assembly went.
2.
A cautious or timorous speech.
3.
A hissing or buzzing sound.

Definition 2021


whisper

whisper

English

Noun

whisper (plural whispers)

  1. The act of speaking in a quiet voice, especially, without vibration of the vocal cords.
  2. (chiefly in the plural) A rumor.
    There are whispers of rebellion all around.
  3. (figuratively) A faint trace or hint (of something).
    The soup had just a whisper of basil.
  4. (Internet) A private message to an individual in a chat room.
    • 2002, Ralph Schroeder, The Social Life of Avatars (page 218)
      The invisibility of private interactions in the form of whispers resolved an ethical concern in the research but reduced our ability to gauge the volume of interaction []
    • 2004, Caroline A. Haythornthwaite, Michelle M. Kazmer, Learning, Culture and Community in Online Education (page 179)
      Anyone logged in to the chat room can click on an individual name, highlighting it, and send a message — a whisper — that will be seen only by the selected person.

Derived terms

Translations

Verb

whisper (third-person singular simple present whispers, present participle whispering, simple past and past participle whispered)

  1. (intransitive) To speak softly, or under the breath, so as to be heard only by one near at hand; to utter words without sonant breath; to talk without that vibration in the larynx which gives sonorous, or vocal, sound.
  2. (transitive) To mention privately and confidentially, or in a whisper.
    • Bentley
      They might buzz and whisper it one to another.
  3. (intransitive) To make a low, sibilant sound.
    • Thomson
      the hollow, whispering breeze
  4. (intransitive) To speak with suspicion or timorous caution; to converse in whispers, as in secret plotting.
    • Bible, Psalms xli. 7
      All that hate me whisper together against me.
  5. (transitive, obsolete) To address in a whisper, or low voice.
    • Shakespeare
      and whisper one another in the ear
    • Keble
      where gentlest breezes whisper souls distressed
  6. (transitive, obsolete) To prompt secretly or cautiously; to inform privately.
    • Shakespeare
      He came to whisper Wolsey.

Translations