whis·per (wĭspər, hwĭs-)
1. Soft speech produced without using the full voice.
2. Something uttered very softly: overheard his whisper.
3. A secretly or surreptitiously expressed belief, rumor, or hint: whispers of scandal.
4. A low rustling sound: the whisper of wind in the pines.
v. whis·pered, whis·per·ing, whis·pers
1. To speak softly.
2. To speak quietly and privately, as by way of gossip, slander, or intrigue.
3. To make a soft rustling sound.
1. To utter very softly.
2. To say or tell privately or secretly.
[From Middle English whisperen, to whisper, from Old English hwisprian.]
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2020 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
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