Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • noun A whinstone.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun An erroneous form of whim, 3.
  • noun A plant of the genus Ulex, the furze or gorse, chiefly U. Europæus and U. nanus. See furze,1, and cut under Ulex.
  • noun Same as rest-harrow, 1.
  • noun A name given in the north of England and in Wales to various rocks, chiefly to basalt, but also to any unusually hard quartzose sandstone. The latter is sometimes called white or gray whin, the basalt blue whin. See whin-sill.
  • noun Same as wheen.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • noun Gorse; furze. See Furze.
  • noun Woad-waxed.
  • noun Prov. Eng. Same as Whinstone.
  • noun (Bot.) a low prickly shrub (Genista Anglica) common in Western Europe.
  • noun a machine for cutting and bruising whin, or furze, to feed cattle on.
  • noun (Zoöl.), [Prov. Eng.] the hedge sparrow.
  • noun (Zoöl.), [Prov. Eng.] the redwing.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • noun Gorse; furze.
  • noun The plant woad-waxen.
  • noun whinstone

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

  • noun very spiny and dense evergreen shrub with fragrant golden-yellow flowers; common throughout western Europe
  • noun any of various hard colored rocks (especially rocks consisting of chert or basalt)
  • noun small Eurasian shrub having clusters of yellow flowers that yield a dye; common as a weed in Britain and the United States; sometimes grown as an ornamental

Etymologies

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

[Middle English whinne, probably of Scandinavian origin.]

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

[Middle English quin.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Middle English whynne, from Old Norse hvein ("gorse, furze") (compare Norwegian kvein ("bent grass"), Swedish ven ("bent grass"), dialectal hven ("swamp")).

Examples

  • What th 'Czar whispered to th' Imp'ror Willum whin they were alone, how to make a silk hat out iv a wire matthress, how to settle th 'coal sthrike, who to marry, how to get on with ye'er wife whin ye're married, what to feed th' babies, what doctor to call whin ye've fed thim as directed, -- all iv that ye'll find in th 'pa-apers.

    Observations By Mr. Dooley

  • "You'll git a good chance at the stag whin he tops the hillock forenent you, sor," remarked the somewhat garrulous Irishman.

    The Eagle Cliff

  • a seam of coal about six inches thick of no value, which lies under about four fathom of clay, beneath this is a white freestone, then a hard stone, which the workmen there call a whin, then two fathoms of clay, then another white stone, and under that a vein of coals three feet nine inches thick, of a similar nature to the Newcastle coal.

    The Botanic Garden A Poem in Two Parts. Part 1: the Economy of Vegetation

  • E-vasion I calls it, bekaze, exceptin 'whin 'tis right an' natural an 'proper, 'tis wrong an' dhirty to steal a man's wan child she not knowin 'her own mind.

    Soldiers Three

  • E-vasion I calls it, bekaze, exceptin 'whin 'tis right an' natural an 'proper, 'tis wrong an' dhirty to steal a man's wan child, she not knowin 'her own mind.

    Indian Tales

  • An 'have ye niver drifted along, the water clear as glass, whin suddin, belike a cloud over the sun, the mushy-ice comes bubblin' up an 'up till from bank to bank an' bind to bind it's drapin 'the river like a first snowfall?'

    The Men of Forty-Mile

  • That's the reason why she continue telling them – b/c she will whin, stump and call it sexism if anyone challenge her on anything.

    Huckabee warns Palin: Don't leave GOP

  • An 'have ye niver drifted along, the water clear as glass, whin suddin, belike a cloud over the sun, the mushy-ice comes bubblin' up an 'up till from bank to bank an' bind to bind it's drapin 'the river like a first snowfall?'

    The Men of Forty Mile

  • But ye did in the ind, "he exclaimed, triumphantly," whin ye saw I was goin 'to lave ye for sure.

    CHAPTER I

  • The folklore of golf, for another example, tells us that the game began on the links of the Scottish coast, the happy accident of their whin-and-sand-and-cliffsideturf variousness.

    'A Short History of Celebrity'

Comments

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  • The examples show dialectical uses equivalent to those of modern (standard) English when. This usage as a variant of when is not described in any of the definitions. Which I read, despite being totally distracted by woad-waxed.

    July 10, 2012