Humanities › English Understanding the Difference Between Whine and Wine Commonly Confused Words Share Flipboard Email Print Imagno/Getty Images English English Grammar An Introduction to Punctuation Writing By Richard Nordquist English and Rhetoric Professor Ph.D., Rhetoric and English, University of Georgia M.A., Modern English and American Literature, University of Leicester B.A., English, State University of New York Dr. Richard Nordquist is professor emeritus of rhetoric and English at Georgia Southern University and the author of several university-level grammar and composition textbooks. our editorial process Richard Nordquist Updated May 27, 2019 The words whine and wine are homophones: they sound alike but have different meanings. Definitions The verb whine means to make a high-pitched noise or to complain or beg in a childish way. The noun whine refers to the act of whining or to a complaint uttered in a whining tone. The noun wine refers to the fermented juice of grapes (or other fruits), used as an alcoholic beverage and in cooking. Examples "The woman would yowl at him for not cutting enough wood for her stove and would whine about the pain in her back."(Flannery O'Connor, "The Crop," 1946. The Complete Stories. Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 1971)"On his control panel, the tiny bulbs grew brighter, straining under a surge of power. The room lights flared, bathing the shack in a bright, naked glow The incessant alarms were drowned out by the whine of the engines now. It all happened in seconds."(Abrahm Lustgarten, Run to Failure: BP and the Making of the Deepwater Horizon Disaster. Norton, 2012)"For their first date, she once told me, my father changed into rough pants and a T-shirt, crammed a loaf of bread and a jug of wine into his rucksack, and took my mother on a hike up Bell's Canyon."(Tom Matthews, Our Fathers' War. Broadway Books, 2005)"Crazy Sunday again. Joel slept until eleven, then he read a newspaper to catch up with the past week. He lunched in his room on trout, avocado salad and a pint of California wine."(F. Scott Fitzgerald, "Crazy Sunday." The American Mercury, 1933)"There were bright rugs on the oiled floor, tasteful religious paintings in ornate frames, camelback sofas upholstered in wine-colored velvet, and silver everywhere, twinkling in the late afternoon light sliding through the small curtained windows."(Loren D. Estleman, City of Widows. Tor Books, 1994) Idiom Alert Wine and DineThe expression to wine and dine (someone) means to entertain someone in a lavish manner or to treat someone to a costly meal."What was wonderful was that they seemed to energize each other. He wined and dined her in the expensive, three- and four-star restaurants that made up his culinary universe. She introduced him to the other New York, the one with hundreds of fabulous places to eat that didn't require frou-frou clothes, major jewelry and a trust fund."(Doris Mortman, Before and Again. St. Martin's Press, 2003) Practice (a) "In the dark, he listened behind a sheltering yew hedge. . . . A chilly wind moving through the yew leaves like water, the steady _____ of the all-clear signal, the dim, distant barking of dogs, but no human sounds, no loud footfalls to indicate a stranger's approach."(Paul Griner, The German Woman. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2009) (b) They sat and sipped the _____ while they waited for their food to arrive. Answers to Practice Exercises Answers to Practice Exercises: Whine and Wine (a) "In the dark, he listened behind a sheltering yew hedge. . . . A chilly wind moving through the yew leaves like water, the steady whine of the all-clear signal, the dim, distant barking of dogs, but no human sounds, no loud footfalls to indicate a stranger's approach."(Paul Griner, The German Woman. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2009)(b) They sat and sipped the wine while they waited for their food to arrive.