\ ˈhwak How to pronounce whack (audio) , ˈwak\
whacked; whacking; whacks

Definition of whack

 (Entry 1 of 2)

transitive verb

1a : to strike with a smart or resounding blow whack the ball
b : to cut with or as if with a whack : chop
2 chiefly British : to get the better of : defeat
3 slang : murder, kill

intransitive verb

: to strike a smart or resounding blow



Definition of whack (Entry 2 of 2)

1a : a smart or resounding blow also : the sound of or as if of such a blow
b : a critical attack
2 : portion, share
4a : an opportunity or attempt to do something take a whack at it
b : a single action or occasion borrowed $50 all at one whack
out of whack
1 : out of proper order or shape threw his knee out of whack
2 : not in accord feeling out of whack with her contemporaries— S. E. Rubin

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Other Words from whack


whacker noun

Examples of whack in a Sentence


She whacked the piñata with a stick. The old man lifted his cane and whacked the mugger on the head. They were whacking through the jungle with their machetes. He got whacked by mobsters.


The pile of books hit the floor with a whack. took a whack at solving the math problem
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Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

These days the sedan experience involves whacking one’s head against the roof edge while entering the car, falling into the seat with one’s backside barely off the floor and peering out as if from a bunker over the high sill line. WSJ, "Good Riddance to the Long-Run Sedan Era," 31 Aug. 2018 Stocks got whacked on the flimsiest of pretexts as worries about a spending slowdown spread. Carol Ryan, WSJ, "Luxury-Goods Industry Has a China Problem," 1 Jan. 2019 Rita may be a bossy termagant, but her adoring Beppe appears to love being whacked around from time to time, so what’s the harm? John Von Rhein, chicagotribune.com, "Chicago Opera Theater brings flair to comic, serious Donizetti one-acters," 15 Apr. 2018 Method 1: Cut the pomegranate in half and whack it with a wooden spoon. Audrey Bruno, SELF, "Here's the Best Way to Seed a Pomegranate," 3 Oct. 2018 Kerrigan made international headlines after she got whacked in the knee by an assailant in 1994 during a competition at Cobo Center. Detroit Free Press Staff, Detroit Free Press, "Nancy Kerrigan to headline St. Clair Shores Memorial Day parade," 2 May 2018 The game wants very badly to whack you over the head with its style, as well, yet developer Insomniac Games doesn't falter or fumble due to that stylistic obsession. Sam Machkovech, Ars Technica, "Sunset Overdrive review: Ride the rails to kaboom-town (finally on PCs, too)," 17 Nov. 2018 That’s when an NCO or one of your buddies whacks you on the head and tells you to get moving. Alex Kingsbury, BostonGlobe.com, "The lesson of the ‘Broward Coward’," 23 Feb. 2018 Readers must whack their way through a thicket of complexities that lies at the confluence of general relativity and quantum theory. Alan Hirshfeld, WSJ, "Book Review: Feeling Gravity’s Pull," 16 Nov. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

But Intel’s inability to shift to 10nm for several generations put the tick-tock process out of whack, at least for now. Mark Hachman, PCWorld, "Leaked Intel roadmaps call Intel's 10nm transition into question yet again," 26 Apr. 2019 Ovarian dysfunction can throw these hormones out of whack, leading to PCOS symptoms. Mary Claire Lagroue, SELF, "Can Diet and Exercise Actually Improve PCOS Symptoms?," 23 Apr. 2019 The biggest whack ended deductions for client entertainment—such as sports tickets, or the cost of travel on the company jet to play golf. Laura Saunders, WSJ, "Order the Steak! Client Meal Deductions Will Be Allowed," 28 Sep. 2018 But there's no getting around the whack that losing Bon-Ton will deliver to metro Milwaukee. Paul Gores, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Beyond shopping and jobs, loss of Bon-Ton hits charities, civic events, related businesses," 27 Apr. 2018 But the federal budget is mostly mandatory spending, for programs such as Medicare and Social Security, so after the $137 billion whack in 2019, Paul would cut between $30 billion and $31.5 billion each year. Glenn Kessler, Washington Post, "Rand Paul’s claim that cutting $13 billion a year would balance the budget," 26 Apr. 2018 Media: Oliver Wing, University of Bristol, journal of Environmental Research Letters Houston has learned the hard way time and again that the maps FEMA uses to set flood insurance rates are way out of whack with the reality on the ground. Mark Collette, Houston Chronicle, "28 million Americans live in flood zones and don't know it, study finds," 6 Mar. 2018 The blue light from devices like phones and computers can send our circadian rhythms out of whack and cause eye strain. Laura Norkin, Glamour, "Feeling Burned Out? Your Screen Time May Have Something to Do With It," 13 June 2018 The major reason for the price cut is the expiring federal tax credit for buying a Tesla, a fact that was already throwing the electric car market out of whack. Andrew Moseman, Popular Mechanics, "Tesla Just Dropped Its Car Prices by $2,000," 3 Jan. 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'whack.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of whack


1719, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1a


1736, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

History and Etymology for whack


probably imitative of the sound of a blow

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Statistics for whack

Last Updated

17 Apr 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for whack

The first known use of whack was in 1719

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More Definitions for whack



English Language Learners Definition of whack

 (Entry 1 of 2)

informal : to hit (someone or something) with great force
US, informal : to reduce (something) by a large amount
US slang : to murder or kill (someone)



English Language Learners Definition of whack (Entry 2 of 2)

: the act of hitting someone or something with great force
: the sound made when something is hit hard
British : a share or portion of something


\ ˈhwak How to pronounce whack (audio) , ˈwak\
whacked; whacking

Kids Definition of whack

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: to hit with a hard noisy blow The batter whacked the ball.



Kids Definition of whack (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : a hard noisy blow I gave the ball a whack.
2 : the sound of a hard noisy blow
out of whack
: not in good working order or shape

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More from Merriam-Webster on whack

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with whack

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for whack

Spanish Central: Translation of whack

Nglish: Translation of whack for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of whack for Arabic Speakers

Comments on whack

What made you want to look up whack? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


to speak slightingly about or to degrade

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