AskDefine | Define whelp

The Collaborative Dictionary

Whelp \Whelp\, n. [AS. hwelp; akin to D. welp, G. & OHG. welf, Icel. hvelpr, Dan. hvalp, Sw. valp.] [1913 Webster]
One of the young of a dog or a beast of prey; a puppy; a cub; as, a lion's whelps. "A bear robbed of her whelps." --2 Sam. xvii.
[1913 Webster]
A child; a youth; -- jocosely or in contempt. [1913 Webster] That awkward whelp with his money bags would have made his entrance. --Addison. [1913 Webster]
(Naut.) One of the longitudinal ribs or ridges on the barrel of a capstan or a windless; -- usually in the plural; as, the whelps of a windlass. [1913 Webster]
One of the teeth of a sprocket wheel. [1913 Webster]
Whelp \Whelp\, v. i. [imp. & p. p. Whelped; p. pr. & vb. n. Whelping.] To bring forth young; -- said of the female of the dog and some beasts of prey. [1913 Webster]
Whelp \Whelp\, v. t. To bring forth, as cubs or young; to give birth to. [1913 Webster] Unless she had whelped it herself, she could not have loved a thing better. --B. Jonson. [1913 Webster] Did thy foul fancy whelp so black a scheme? --Young. [1913 Webster]

Word Net

whelp n : young of any of various canines such as a dog or wolf [syn: pup] v : birth; "the dog whelped" [syn: pup]

Moby Thesaurus

Seeing Eye dog, animal, bandog, be confined, bear, bear a child, bear young, beast, birdling, bitch, bowwow, boy, bub, bubba, buck, bud, buddy, calf, calve, canine, cast, catling, chick, chickling, chicky, colt, cub, cur, dog, dogie, drop, duckling, fancy dog, farrow, fawn, fellow, fledgling, foal, fryer, give birth, gosling, guide dog, gyp, have, have a baby, have young, hobbledehoy, hound, hyena, insect, kennel, kid, kit, kitten, labor, lad, laddie, lamb, lambkin, lap dog, lie in, litter, manchild, master, mongrel, muchacho, nest, nestling, pack of dogs, pig, piglet, pigling, polecat, polliwog, pooch, pullet, pup, puppy, reptile, schoolboy, serpent, sheep dog, shoat, show dog, skunk, sled dog, slut, snake, sonny, sonny boy, swine, tadpole, throw, toy dog, travail, varmint, vermin, viper, wale, watchdog, weal, weaner, welt, whelk, working dog, worm, yean, yeanling, young man, youth



From hwelp, cognate with Dutch welp, German Welf, Icelandic hvolpur, Swedish valp.


  1. the young of a mammal.
  2. an insolent youth.
  3. one of several wooden strips to prevent wear on a windlass on a clipper-era ship.


  1. to give birth.
    The dog whelped.
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