Definition of whelp in English:



  • 1A puppy.

    • ‘Sometimes mothers will really put up a fuss about me taking their new whelps and putting them in a puppy box.’
    hound, canine, mongrel, cur, tyke
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1 A cub.
    2. 1.2 A boy or young man (often as a disparaging form of address)
      • ‘It was directed at those same teachers and bourgeois parents whose sanctions and strictures many of us young whelps so deeply resented.’
      • ‘I remember your little friend shoving you into one before she because a pincushion, and you blasted me from there, you little whelp.’
      • ‘What I want to know Nago is if that whelp of a boy is going through with his orders.’
      • ‘I cannot describe to you my shock and fear at being woken by the vulgarities of a loutish young whelp, who had driven his auto-mobile next to the chamber's small window.’
      • ‘The only prize a churlish young whelp like you should get is a good hiding!’
    3. 1.3whelps A set of projections on the barrel of a capstan or windlass, designed to reduce the slippage of a rope.


  • (of a female dog) give birth to (a puppy)

    ‘Copper whelped seven puppies’
    [no object] ‘a bitch due to whelp’
    • ‘It is always a good idea to take your mom to the vet shortly after whelping to be sure she has not retained a placenta or even a dead puppy that will need to be expelled.’
    • ‘No one knows for certain when the first Rottweiler came to America, but the first litter of Rotties whelped in this country was born in 1930.’
    • ‘That same year the kennel registered the first Doberman in the American Kennel Club Stud Book, Doberman Intelectus, whelped June 20, 1908.’
    • ‘If more than four contractures there may be a problem if the Shih Tzu puppy has not been whelped.’
    • ‘The length of most bitch pregnancies is 63 days and most show signs when they are just about ready to whelp.’
    • ‘Twenty-four hours later, I was assembling the £50 Newborn flatpack, which arrived complete with fake fleece lining and a guide to whelping.’
    • ‘Debra has sent me a copy of a well-written piece on Norwich Terriers from Dog World a few years ago, which sums up the breed's difficulty whelping rather well, I thought.’
    • ‘I myself signed off on the plan before you were whelped, and it has ensured that I stay rich and powerful long after I should have been dead.’
    • ‘And we expect that she'll whelp any time from this weekend.’
    • ‘Not all shih-tzu mothers do what they are suppose to do, and in these cases, a breeder must act quickly to save the newly whelped shih-tzu puppy.’
    • ‘My dogs also like Pedigree Canned Puppy food right after whelping.’
    • ‘The son of a Sussex spaniel sire and a field spaniel dam, Obo was whelped in 1879.’
    • ‘It was the first outing for both of these young brindle bitches which were whelped in February and March 02.’
    • ‘Make it sloppy food for the first few days after the whelping.’
    • ‘Her attitude can affect her puppies in utero and then later after whelping as well.’
    • ‘About two or two-and-a-half weeks to go now till whelping.’
    • ‘The gloves were off from an early stage as a host of young greyhounds whelped January ‘01 or later went in search of the prize.’
    • ‘If she is too exhausted to eat right after whelping, she will be ready by the next day most usually.’


Old English hwelp (noun), of Germanic origin; related to Dutch welp and German Welf.