whisper
Pronunciation
  • (RP) IPA: /ˈ(h)wɪspə/
  • (America) IPA: /ˈ(h)wɪspɚ/
Noun

whisper (plural whispers)

  1. The act of speaking in a quiet voice, especially, without vibration of the vocal cords.
    • 1883, Robert Louis Stevenson, Treasure Island:
      "Now, look here, Jim Hawkins," he said, in a steady whisper, that was no more than audible.
  2. (usually, in the plural) A rumor.
    There are whispers of rebellion all around.
  3. (figurative) A faint trace or hint (of something).
    The soup had just a whisper of basil.
  4. A low rustling sound, like that of the wind in leaves.
  5. (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.
Translations Verb

whisper (whispers, present participle whispering; 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.
    • They might buzz and whisper it one to another.
  3. (intransitive) To make a low, sibilant sound.
    • the hollow, whispering breeze
  4. (intransitive) To speak with suspicion or timorous caution; to converse in whispers, as in secret plotting.
    • 1611, The Holy Bible, […] (King James Version), imprinted at London: By Robert Barker, […], OCLC 964384981 ↗, Psalms 41:7 ↗:
      All that hate me whisper together against me.
  5. (transitive, obsolete) To address in a whisper, or low voice.
    • c. 1596, William Shakespeare, “The Life and Death of King Iohn”, in Mr. William Shakespeares Comedies, Histories, & Tragedies: Published According to the True Originall Copies (First Folio), London: Printed by Isaac Iaggard, and Ed[ward] Blount, published 1623, OCLC 606515358 ↗, [Act IV, scene ii]:
      and whisper one another in the ear
    • where gentlest breezes whisper souls distressed
  6. (transitive, obsolete) To prompt secretly or cautiously; to inform privately.
    • 1613, William Shakespeare; [John Fletcher], “The Famous History of the Life of King Henry the Eight”, in Mr. William Shakespeares Comedies, Histories, & Tragedies: Published According to the True Originall Copies (First Folio), London: Printed by Isaac Iaggard, and Ed[ward] Blount, published 1623, OCLC 606515358 ↗, [Act I, scene ii]:
      He came to whisper Wolsey.
Translations


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