Definitions

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

  • intransitive v. To move or think erratically; vacillate.
  • intransitive v. To blow in fitful gusts; puff: The wind whiffled through the trees.
  • intransitive v. To whistle lightly.
  • transitive v. To blow, displace, or scatter with gusts of air.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A short blow or gust
  • n. Something small or insignificant; a trifle.
  • n. A fife or small flute.
  • v. to blow a short gust
  • v. to waffle, talk aimlessly
  • v. to waste time
  • v. to travel quickly, whizz, whistle, with an accompanying wind-like sound
  • v. to descending rapidly from a height once the decision to land has been made, involving fast side-slipping first one way and then the other

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • intransitive v. To waver, or shake, as if moved by gusts of wind; to shift, turn, or veer about.
  • intransitive v. To change from one opinion or course to another; to use evasions; to prevaricate; to be fickle.
  • transitive v. To disperse with, or as with, a whiff, or puff; to scatter.
  • transitive v. To wave or shake quickly; to cause to whiffle.
  • n. A fife or small flute.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • To blow in gusts; hence, to veer about, as the wind.
  • To change from one opinion or course to another; use evasions; prevaricate; be fickle or unsteady; waver.
  • To trifle; talk idly.
  • To disperse with a puff; blow away; scatter.
  • To cause to change, as from one opinion or course to another.
  • To shake or wave quickly.
  • n. A fife.

Etymologies

Perhaps frequentative of whiff.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
1662, in sense “flutter as blown by wind”, as whiff +‎ -le (“(frequentive)”) and (onomatopoeia) sound of wind, particularly a leaf fluttering in unsteady wind; compare whiff. Sense “something small or insignificant” is from 1680.[1] (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • Look for a reel with a lightweight, so-called "whiffle" spool, a perforated design that has holes like a Wiffle ball.

    Two New Casting Styles From Field & Stream's John Merwin

  • When his father asked him what they should call the ball, he said "whiffle," for the slang word "whiff," meaning "strike out."

    The Wiffle Effect

  • Nobody can use his fists without being taught the use of them by those who have themselves been taught, no more than any one can "whiffle" without being taught by a master of the art.

    The Romany Rye

  • Nobody can use his fists without being taught the use of them by those who have themselves been taught, no more than anyone can 'whiffle' {355} without being taught by a master of the art.

    The Romany Rye A Sequel to 'Lavengro'

  • It comes as a faint shock to realize that words in everyday use (at least on this side of the Atlantic) such as whiffle, galumph, burble, and chortle, were invented by him in "Jabberwocky" (and glossed by him as "portmanteau" words -- a term that has also passed into accepted usage).

    VERBATIM: The Language Quarterly Vol VIII No 1

  • It's a quirky, wristy, vertical and extremely violent motion that he hasn't fiddled with much since he figured out how to make whiffle balls curve in both directions around his boyhood home in rural Florida.

    Top Pros Who've Never Had a Lesson

  • They could just play whiffle ball and eat ham sandwiches for awhile, and then one day they’d wake up adults.

    A Conversation with Karen Russell author of St. Lucy’s Home for Girls Raised by Wolves

  • There are other significant toys I would put up against Premo's whiffle ball any day.

    Red Room: Fran Moreland Johns: Your Stuff as 'Art'

  • While she waited for a donor heart, her doctors made sure she walked and played whiffle ball in the hospital play area to regain her strength.

    A New Heart Pump, Just for Kids

  • My 8-year-old son and I walk in step with Mr. Palmer, outside the ropes of course, as I share stories with my only son about how I grew up watching the great Mr. Palmer and mimicking his famous hitching of the slacks before hitting my whiffle ball onto the "green" in my parents 'backyard.

    As Palmer turns 80, readers have their say

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