What does whisper mean?

Definitions for whisper
ˈʰwɪs pər, ˈwɪs pərwhis·per

This dictionary definitions page includes all the possible meanings, example usage and translations of the word whisper.

Princeton's WordNet

  1. whisper, whispering, susurration, voicelessnessnoun

    speaking softly without vibration of the vocal cords

  2. rustle, rustling, whisper, whisperingverb

    a light noise, like the noise of silk clothing or leaves blowing in the wind

  3. whisperverb

    speak softly; in a low voice


  1. whispernoun

    The act of speaking in a quiet voice, especially, without vibration of the vocal cords.

  2. whisperverb

    To talk in a quiet voice.

  3. Etymology: From hwisprian.

Samuel Johnson's Dictionary

  1. Whispernoun

    A low soft voice.

    Etymology: from the verb.

    The extension is more in tones than in speech; therefore the inward voice or whisper cannot give a tone. Francis Bacon.

    Strictly observe the first hints and whispers of good and evil that pass in the heart, and this will keep conscience quick and vigilant. South.

    Soft whispers through th’ assembly went. Dryden.

    He uncall’d, his patron to controul,
    Divulg’d the secret whispers of his soul. Dryden.

  2. To Whisperverb

    When they talk of him they shake their heads,
    And whisper one another in the ear. William Shakespeare, King John.

    Give sorrow words; the grief that does not speak,
    Whispers the o’erfraught heart, and bids it break. William Shakespeare.

    He first whispers the man in the ear, that such a man should think such a card. Francis Bacon, Natural History.

    The steward whispered the young Templer, that’s true to my knowledge. Tatler.

    You have heard of the news abroad, I mean the whisper’d ones; for they are yet but ear-kissing arguments. William Shakespeare.

    They might buzz and whisper it one to another, and, tacitly withdrawing from the apostles, noise it about the city. Richard Bentley.

    Charles the emperor,
    Under pretence to see the queen his aunt,
    For ’twas indeed his colour, but he came
    To whisper Wolsey, here makes visitation. William Shakespeare, H. VIII.

  3. To WHISPERverb

    To speak with a low voice, so as not to be heard but by the ear close to the speaker.

    Etymology: wisperen, Dutch.

    He sometime with fearful countenance would desire the king to look to himself; for that all the court and city were full of whisperings and expectation of some sudden change. Philip Sidney.

    All that hate me whisper together against me. Ps. xli. 7.

    In speech of man, the whispering or susurrus, whether louder or softer, is an interiour sound; but the speaking out is an exteriour sound, and therefore you can never make a tone, nor sing in whispering; but in speech you may. Francis Bacon.

    The king Acestis calls;
    Then softly whisper’d in her faithful ear,
    And bade his daughters at the rites appear. Alexander Pope.

    It is as offensive to speak wit in a fool’s company, as it would be ill manners to whisper in it: he is displeased at both, because he is ignorant of what is said. Alexander Pope.

    He comes and whispers in his ear. Jonathan Swift.

    The hollow whisp’ring breeze, the pliant rills
    Purle down amid’ the twisted roots. James Thomson.


  1. whisper

    Whispering is an unvoiced mode of phonation in which the vocal cords are abducted so that they do not vibrate; air passes between the arytenoid cartilages to create audible turbulence during speech. Supralaryngeal articulation remains the same as in normal speech. In normal speech, the vocal cords alternate between states of voice and voicelessness. In whispering, only the voicing segments change, so that the vocal cords alternate between whisper and voicelessness (though the acoustic difference between the two states is minimal). Because of this, implementing speech recognition for whispered speech is more difficult, as the characteristic spectral range needed to detect syllables and words is not given through the total absence of tone. More advanced techniques such as neural networks may be used, however, as is done by Amazon Alexa.There is no symbol in the IPA for whispered phonation, since it is not used phonemically in any language. However, a sub-dot under phonemically voiced segments is sometimes seen in the literature, as [ʃʊ̣ḍ] for whispered should.


  1. whisper

    A whisper is a soft or hushed mode of speech, often used to convey information privately or without being heard by others. It is produced without the vocal cords coming together completely, resulting in a breathy, quiet sound. It can also refer to any soft, rustling sound similar to such speech, or to hint or allude to something subtly or indirectly.

Webster Dictionary

  1. Whisperverb

    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, n

  2. Whispernoun

    to make a low, sibilant sound or noise

  3. Whispernoun

    to speak with suspicion, or timorous caution; to converse in whispers, as in secret plotting

  4. Whisperverb

    to utter in a low and nonvocal tone; to say under the breath; hence, to mention privately and confidentially, or in a whisper

  5. Whisperverb

    to address in a whisper, or low voice

  6. Whisperverb

    to prompt secretly or cautiously; to inform privately

  7. Whispernoun

    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, n., 2, and Guide to Pronunciation, // 5, 153, 154

  8. Whispernoun

    a cautious or timorous speech

  9. Whispernoun

    something communicated in secret or by whispering; a suggestion or insinuation

  10. Whispernoun

    a low, sibilant sound

  11. Etymology: [AS. hwisprian; akin to G. wispern, wispeln, OHG. hwispaln, Icel. hvskra, Sw. hviska, Dan. hviske; of imitative origin. Cf. Whistle.]


  1. Whisper

    Whisper is a 2007 horror film directed by Stewart Hendler and written by Christopher Borrelli. The film revolves around the kidnapping of a young boy, David, who is more than he appears and brings unexpected troubles for his kidnappers.

Chambers 20th Century Dictionary

  1. Whisper

    hwis′pėr, v.i. to speak with a low sound: to speak very softly: to plot secretly.—v.t. to utter in a low voice or under the breath.—n. a low, hissing voice or sound: cautious or timorous speaking: a secret hint: a low rustling sound.—ns. Whis′perer, one who whispers: (B.) a secret informer; Whis′pering, whispered talk: insinuation.—adj. like a whisper.—n. Whis′pering-gall′ery, a gallery or dome so constructed that a whisper or slight sound is carried to an unusual distance.—advs. Whis′peringly, in a whisper or low voice; Whis′perously, in a whisper. [A.S. hwisprian; Ger. wispern, Ice. hvískra; allied to whistle.]


  1. Whisper

    Whisper is an anonymous social network that connects people through shared experiences.

Suggested Resources

  1. whisper

    Song lyrics by whisper -- Explore a large variety of song lyrics performed by whisper on the Lyrics.com website.

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British National Corpus

  1. Verbs Frequency

    Rank popularity for the word 'whisper' in Verbs Frequency: #547

How to pronounce whisper?

How to say whisper in sign language?


  1. Chaldean Numerology

    The numerical value of whisper in Chaldean Numerology is: 3

  2. Pythagorean Numerology

    The numerical value of whisper in Pythagorean Numerology is: 8

Examples of whisper in a Sentence

  1. Rick Perry Ann Trimble-Ray:

    It's been very well played by Ms. Fiorina, it's not just a whisper campaign, nor a backroom suggestion that we need to have someone who would be par-to-par with Hillary Clinton. When Carly says I can throw the jabs without the backlash, I believe she's right.

  2. Hla Tun:

    USDP members on the island are carrying out a whisper campaign, saying that those who vote for the NLD will get in trouble.

  3. Christopher Boian:

    If at any stage in that process there is ever the slightest shadow of a doubt or the slightest whisper of suspicion, they are removed from the process. That is that, the very, very few Syrian refugees who are accepted and referred for consideration for resettlement in another country -- there simply is no more closely scrutinized population on earth these days.

  4. Barry Neil Kaufman:

    A loud voice cannot compete with a clear voice, even if it's a whisper.

  5. Joan Wester Anderson:

    We can all be angels to one another. We can choose to obey the still small stirring within, the little whisper that says, 'Go. Ask. Reach out. Be an answer to someone's plea. You have a part to play. Have faith.' We can decide to risk that He is indeed there, watching, caring, cherishing us as we love and accept love. The world will be a better place for it. And wherever they are, the angels will dance.

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Translations for whisper

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"whisper." Definitions.net. STANDS4 LLC, 2023. Web. 8 Dec. 2023. <https://www.definitions.net/definition/whisper>.

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    an unpleasant or disastrous destiny
    • A. interrupt
    • B. restore
    • C. emerge
    • D. doom

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