Definition of whinny in English:



  • A gentle, high-pitched neigh.

    • ‘A plaintive whinny echoed from a damp, narrow cave as we edged unsteadily through the entrance.’
    • ‘Jack was about to throw another heavy branch at Mesa, but the wolf became alert almost instantly as he heard whinnies and howls from somewhere off in the fields.’
    • ‘In the mornings when his mother has left the house to go to her occasional sometime job, little Lou Lou will wake me with whinnies and whines, and I will come to his rescue by opening Rene's door.’
    • ‘In a decision that speaks well of his integrity but poorly of his abilities as a children's entertainer, screenwriter John Fusco decided that his equine characters communicate only through neighs and whinnies.’
    • ‘Neighs, whinnies, and snorts, along with the clip-clop of hooves as the horses tore through the camp, made it all but impossible to hear.’
    • ‘The horses were out there, chewing on grass or napping, and every once in a while, we could hear a playful whinny and would see a few of the animals running around with their heads held high.’
    • ‘Shortly afterward, the others heard whinnies and neighs and the two rescuers urging their steeds forward.’
    • ‘The seduction hilariously unfolds over a bombastic bass track laced with suggestive whinnies.’
    • ‘The second that we were on my father's land Sora gave a whinny of joy as she pranced this way and that.’
    • ‘Indeed, the cyclists are treated as animals - the only noise they make is a series of equine whinnies, snorts, and grunts.’
    • ‘With a small whinny, he pranced over to, nuzzling my hand in search of an apple.’
    • ‘The end of her exclamation turned into a high-pitched whinny and Leif started.’
    • ‘She cast about anxiously for Alina and upon sighting her on the second story let out an earsplitting whinny.’
    • ‘Their nervous whinnies were heard throughout the night.’
    • ‘A loud whinny echoed in the air behind the two, and another set of hooves echoed with Damon's horse.’
    • ‘A loud whinny broke his thoughts, and Dirano's head turned sharply, and he saw a blur of a white horse, rearing and galloping towards him.’
    • ‘Melhiril's horse reared back on its hind legs, letting out a loud whinny.’
    • ‘He saw us approach, and greeted us with a whinny and a gesture of his long tasselled tail.’
    • ‘That spooked the horse because his head and ears picked up and he let out a shrill whinny.’
    • ‘I tried not to hear the roar of flames overhead, or the frightened whinnies of fellow passengers, but the task was impossible.’


  • (of a horse) make a gentle, high-pitched neigh.

    ‘the pony whinnied and tossed his head happily’
    • ‘Cows swayed slowly in their sleep, a horse whinnied in its dream, and chickens bobbed up and down up in their nests atop rafters.’
    • ‘Airily the horse whinnied at him, as if stating he was better.’
    • ‘He went out to his horse's stall where his horse stood whinnying to get out and stretch his legs.’
    • ‘I have to say, I found it very satisfying to do, because you never get to use a horse whinnying in my normal line of work.’
    • ‘They stared at each other for a few seconds before the horse whinnied loudly and started to canter towards her.’
    • ‘The horse whinnied shrilly and tried to bolt, but Willy reined him in.’
    • ‘Sometimes I can hear the horses whinnying, hooves clip-clopping up the street.’
    • ‘The birds chirped happily and the horses whinnied freely.’
    • ‘The horse whinnied when Arnold caught hold of its bridle and it reared up on its hind legs.’
    • ‘He heard the other horses whinnying in fright and shouting, as well as swearing in Elvish coming from the men.’
    • ‘Kel's horse whinnied and stamped, tossing her head to try to free up the reigns a little.’
    • ‘The horse whinnied as Keegan reached out from Rogul's arms and petted its nose happily.’
    • ‘Over in the field on the hill, one of the horses whinnied quietly.’
    • ‘As he stepped from his hut, his horse whinnied from the crude stable next to the house.’
    • ‘While the horses whinnied and munched on the grass, the men relaxed.’
    • ‘The horse whinnied at the sight of Caebwyn, forgetting the grass he was eating to trot as close as he could.’
    • ‘Chilly winds softly tickled at the riders, and five horses whinnied to greet the new day.’
    • ‘The horse whinnied slightly at Damon, shaking his head almost as if he was happy to see him.’
    • ‘Our horse whinnied with relief and found shelter under a tall, knarled oak tree.’
    • ‘All of a sudden she heard a horse whinnying and knew that it wasn't her imagination.’


Late Middle English (as a verb): imitative. The noun dates from the early 19th century.