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The Collaborative International Dictionary

Whim \Whim\, n. [Cf. Icel. hwima to wander with the eyes, vim giddiness, Norw. kvima to whisk or flutter about, to trifle, Dan. vimse to skip, whisk, jump from one thing to another, dial. Sw. hvimsa to be unsteady, dizzy, W. chwimio to move briskly.]

  1. A sudden turn or start of the mind; a temporary eccentricity; a freak; a fancy; a capricious notion; a humor; a caprice.

    Let every man enjoy his whim.

  2. (Mining) A large capstan or vertical drum turned by horse power or steam power, for raising ore or water, etc., from mines, or for other purposes; -- called also whim gin, and whimsey.

    Whim gin (Mining), a whim. See Whim, 2.

    Whim shaft (Mining), a shaft through which ore, water, etc., is raised from a mine by means of a whim.

    Syn: Freak; caprice; whimsey; fancy.

    Usage: Whim, Freak, Caprice. Freak denotes an impulsive, inconsiderate change of mind, as by a child or a lunatic. Whim is a mental eccentricity due to peculiar processes or habits of thought. Caprice is closely allied in meaning to freak, but implies more definitely a quality of willfulness or wantonness.


n. (alternative spelling of whimsy English)

  1. n. an odd or fanciful or capricious idea; "the theatrical notion of disguise is associated with disaster in his stories"; "he had a whimsy about flying to the moon"; "whimsy can be humorous to someone with time to enjoy it" [syn: notion, whim, whimsy]

  2. the trait of acting unpredictably and more from whim or caprice than from reason or judgment; "I despair at the flightiness and whimsicality of my memory" [syn: flightiness, arbitrariness, whimsicality, whimsy, capriciousness]

Usage examples of "whimsey".

The fields were dreary and forsaken, and in the marshy strip that led to the whimsey, a reedy pit-pond, the fowls had already abandoned their run among the alders, to roost in the tarred fowl-house.

Sort of a Princess and the Centigrade Pea, I said, but whimsey was wasted on Russell.

I know the first Earl of Whimsey has nothing to do with this story, and so we are not particularly interested in the fact that it was not so much the fine grade of whiskey that he manufactured that won him his earidom as the generous contribution he made to the Liberal party at the time that it was in power a number of years ago.

What madness, while every thing is so happily settled under ancient forms and institutions, now more exactly poised and adjusted, to try the hazardous experiment of a new constitution, and renounce the mature wisdom of our ancestors for the crude whimseys of turbulent innovators!

Though transported himself with the most frantic whimseys, Cromwell had adopted a scheme for regulating this principle in others, which was sagacious and political.

These whimseys, mingling with pride, had so corrupted his excellent understanding, that sometimes he thought himself the person deputed to reign on earth for a thousand years over the whole congregation of the faithful.

A month of that voyage, from May the 15th to June the 12th, I squandered at the Andaman Islands near Malay: for that any old Chinaman should be alive in Pekin commenced to appear the queerest whimsey that ever entered a head.

Desnoyers was accustomed to humor Robert’s tirades against his fellow citizens because the man had always humored his whimseys about the incessant rearrangement of his furniture.

These are the whimseys of the mass - the harmless follies by which they unconsciously endeavour to lighten the load of care which presses upon their existence.

These are the whimseys of the mass – the harmless follies by which they unconsciously endeavour to lighten the load of care which presses upon their existence.

In a short time after he appeared abroad, and confirmed the report by falling into the oddest whimseys that ever a sick brain conceived.