\ ˈ(h)wak How to pronounce whack (audio) \
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
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

Verb 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. Noun 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 While not every health department will fully embrace all recommendations, a unified national strategy will improve on the whack-a-mole approach seen to date as cases pop up in one area of the country and then another. Catherine Lynne Troisi, The Conversation, "President-elect Biden’s new COVID-19 task force gives the US a fresh chance to turn around a public health disaster," 13 Nov. 2020 Team members used a wooden board to whack the tree to encourage hornets to leave, the agency said. CBS News, "Scientists kill 85 "murder hornets" and capture 13 alive: "This is only the start"," 28 Oct. 2020 But Mexico’s paper works burst with every-day-is-a-fiesta whimsy (lifesize skeletons with sly grins) and dark, timely humor (whack these COVID-19 piñatas). Jennifer Barger, National Geographic, "These paper crafts bring the party on Day of the Dead," 19 Oct. 2020 Each day, the authorities detain more protest leaders, a whack-a-mole approach that has spurred new organizers to come forward. Muktita Suhartono, New York Times, "‘We Have to Speak Out’: Thai Students Defy Protest Ban," 18 Oct. 2020 Through much of Friday, Twitter was a whack-a-mole of announcements about people testing positive (like Ronna McDaniel, chairwoman of the Republican National Committee) and negative (Democratic opponent Joe Biden and his wife, Jill). David Bauder, Star Tribune, "From Trump's taxes to virus: News moves at breakneck pace," 2 Oct. 2020 Platforms’ reliance on the press to police their own policies amounts to whack-a-mole enforcement, with little transparency and even less consistency. Shannon Mcgregor, Wired, "What Even Is ‘Coordinated Inauthentic Behavior’ on Platforms?," 17 Sep. 2020 Twitter has been playing whack-a-mole with the president's tweets in recent months. NBC News, "Twitter removes video from Trump tweet after complaint from 'Electric Avenue' singer," 2 Sep. 2020 When one brother botches supper, the other two pull down his pants and whack his cheeks. Jason Kehe, Wired, "Watch This Obscure Animated Classic. Never Recover," 21 Aug. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun That lasted until the AI in charge of geo-engineering got out of whack. Seija Rankin, EW.com, "Read Charles Yu's first work of fiction since the National Book Award-winning Interior Chinatown," 5 Jan. 2021 Once the pandemic is over, women are going to have to fight their way back into the workforce The wage gap will have grown, millions of child care slots will have been lost, and the balance of housework will once again be out of whack. Washington Post, "Last year, women marched in the streets. This year, they aren’t — but it’s not because our problems are over.," 4 Jan. 2021 If before this season there were any doubts about the noxiousness of the sport’s out-of-whack power structure and laughable pretense of amateurism, they should be gone now. Mike Finger, ExpressNews.com, "Mike Finger: In troubling time for college sports, Texas’ move fits right in," 2 Jan. 2021 Everything is crazy right now, and our sense of time is completely out of whack. Boone Ashworth, Wired, "19 Last-Minute Gift Ideas for the Truly Desperate," 19 Dec. 2020 The law of supply and demand explains such out-of-whack prices. Bernhard Warner, Fortune, "‘The Mozart of fungi’: For ages, truffle hunting has been one of the most challenging pursuits on earth. Then the pandemic hit," 12 Dec. 2020 There’s still no clear direction on how Illinois lawmakers and the Democratic governor will balance the state budget that’s about $4 billion out of whack. Greg Bishop, Washington Examiner, "Illinois GOP lawmaker tells Pritzker to follow 2019 order to cut more than 6% from budget," 9 Dec. 2020 But the lunacy of the various components — the goofy bill, the indifferent insurer, the self-serving reversal — highlight how far our healthcare system is out of whack. Los Angeles Times, "Column: A $336 Band-Aid for a cut finger? Our healthcare system is nuts," 8 Dec. 2020 Every little tweak could leave other calibrations, like an enemy’s health or a buff, out of whack. Elise Favis, Washington Post, "The uneasiness of ‘easy modes’ prompts creative approaches from game developers," 4 Dec. 2020

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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Time Traveler for whack

Time Traveler

The first known use of whack was in 1719

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Statistics for whack

Last Updated

28 Nov 2020

Cite this Entry

“Whack.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/whack. Accessed 16 Jan. 2021.

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More Definitions for whack


How to pronounce whack (audio)

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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