- The definition of a whelp is a young animal or child.
An example of a whelp is a puppy.
- Whelp is defined as to give birth.
An example of whelp is for a dog to have puppies.
A puppy is a whelp.
- a young dog; puppy
- a young lion, tiger, leopard, bear, wolf, etc.; cub
- a youth or child: a term showing contempt
- any of the teeth on a sprocket wheel
- Naut. any of the ribs or ridges along the barrel of a capstan or the drum of a windlass: usually used in pl.
Origin of whelpMiddle English ; from Old English hwelp, akin to German welf, Old Norse hvelpr, puppy, probably ; from Indo-European an unverified form kwel-, variant, variety of base an unverified form kel-, to cry out, call from source low, Welsh colwyn, puppy
- A young offspring of a carnivorous mammal, especially a dog or wolf.
- a. A child; a youth.b. An impudent boy or young man.
- a. A tooth of a sprocket wheel.b. Nautical Any of the ridges on the barrel of a windlass or capstan.
verbwhelped, whelp·ing, whelps
Origin of whelpMiddle English, from Old English hwelp.
- A young offspring of a canid (ursid, felid, pinniped), especially of a dog or a wolf, the young of a bear or similar mammal (lion, tiger, seal); a pup, wolf cub.
- (derogatory) An insolent youth; a mere child.
- One of several wooden strips to prevent wear on a windlass on a clipper-era ship.
- A tooth on a sprocket wheel (compare sprocket, def. 2; cog, def. 1).
(third-person singular simple present whelps, present participle whelping, simple past and past participle whelped)
- (intransitive) (of she-dog, she-wolf, vixen, etc.) To give birth.
- The bitch whelped.
- The she-wolf whelped a large litter of cubs.
Old English hwelp 'pup, wolf cub', from Proto-Germanic *hwelpaz (compare Dutch welp, obsolete German Welf, Danish hvalp), from pre-Germanic *kʷelbos, from Proto-Indo-European *gʷelbhos (compare Old Church Slavonic жрѣбѧ (žrěbę) 'foal', Latin vulva, bolva, volba 'womb', Ancient Greek βρέφος (bréphos) 'fœtus, newborn', Hittite huēlpi 'overipe, fresh; newborn animal', Sanskrit उल्ब (úlba, úlva) 'womb').