\ 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

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 As the earthy smell of manure filled the air, the men yelled for the Holsteins to move and urged them forward with the whack of a plastic stick. NBC News, "Best advice to U.S. dairy farmers? 'Sell out as fast as you can'," 30 June 2018 Finnbogason of Iceland is brought down with a whack on the calf from behind. Victor Mather, New York Times, "Nigeria Finds World Cup Magic Against Iceland," 23 June 2018 Something to do with a rib out of whack or something. Orion Sang, Detroit Free Press, "Detroit Tigers' Michael Fulmer has better start, despite loss," 3 June 2018 Offered as a quarter dark ($7.75), a quarter white ($8.15), half mix ($9.45) or half all white ($9.85), the birds are broken down to order, a swift whack of a cleaver quickly dividing the chickens into the varying portions. Lindsey Mcclave, The Courier-Journal, "Yummy Pollo's rotisserie chicken is a recipe for Peruvian perfection," 16 May 2018 Earlier in the decade when the banks were showered with deposits as their customers deposited the bonus checks and royalty checks that were rolling in, capital ratios got out of whack for some. Patrick Danner, San Antonio Express-News, "Deposits rise again at Eagle Ford banks, but gains in loans weakest in years," 9 Apr. 2018 The Cavaliers won the championship the Indians did not in baseball, but the NBA secured the franchise with a deal that enticed the Gund brothers to buy the team after the whack-a-doodle reign of Ted Stepien. Bill Livingston, cleveland.com, "Cleveland Indians 2018: A quarter-century in the park that saved the team: Bill Livingston (photos)," 6 Apr. 2018

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).


marked by a state of overwhelming emotion

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