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whammy

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noun wham·my \ˈhwa-mē, ˈwa-\

Simple Definition of whammy

  • : something (such as a magical spell) that causes someone to have bad luck

Source: Merriam-Webster's Learner's Dictionary

Full Definition of whammy

plural whammies

  1. 1 a :  a supernatural power bringing bad luck b :  a magic curse or spell :  jinx, hex

  2. 2 :  a potent force or attack; specifically :  a paralyzing or lethal blow

Examples of whammy in a sentence

  1. <if you tell anyone about this, I swear I'll put the whammy on you>

  2. <put the whammy on herself by publicly predicting that she would win the tennis tournament>



Did You Know?

The origin of whammy is not entirely certain, but it is assumed to have been created by combining wham (a solid blow) with the whimsical -y ending. The first example of whammy in print occured in 1940, but the word was popularized in the 1950s by the cartoonist Al Capp in the comic strip Li'l Abner. The character Evil-Eye Fleegle could paralyze someone with the sheer power of his gaze. The single whammy was a look with one eye, and the fearsome double whammy used both eyes. As you may know, double whammy has also found a place in English as a general term. It means "a combination of two adverse forces, circumstances, or effects" - in other words, a one-two punch.

Origin of whammy

probably from 1wham


First Known Use: 1940

Rhymes with whammy



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