Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. The conventional whisper of an actor, intended to be heard by the audience but supposedly inaudible to others on stage.
  • n. A whisper that can be or is intended to be overheard.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A line that is performed on stage as if it were whispered, but is spoken loud enough that the audience can hear.
  • v. Alternative spelling of stage-whisper.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. a loud whisper, as by an actor in a theater, supposed, for dramatic effect, to be unheard by one or more of his fellow actors, yet audible to the audience; an aside.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. A loud whisper used in by-play by an actor in a theater; an aside; hence, a whisper meant to be heard by those to whom it is not professedly addressed.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. a loud whisper that can be overheard; on the stage it is heard by the audience but it supposed to be inaudible to the rest of the cast

Etymologies

stage + whisper (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • Ruth let the brother-in-law know that the hospital was going to cost a fortune, got his promise to pick up the tab, then lowered her voice to a stage whisper that could have been heard in the next county: Her name is Mary Clark.

    Kitchen Privileges

  • Alain Goldberg abandons the stage whisper and gives a full-bodied yell.

    THE SECOND MARK

  • “Frank, Frank, where are you?” she said in a stage whisper as she shuffled into the stilly blackness of the barn, her toes exploring the unknown ground in front of her as sensitively as an animal.

    The Thorn Birds

  • The family all looked us over, but George’s Ganny Walker—who truly was a dear woman—said in a loud stage whisper as she walked by, It’s all right.

    Barbara Bush

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