\ 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

In 2015 the gigantic SSI steelworks closed for good, putting 2,000 people out of work and whacking the local economy. The Economist, "Four years after its steelworks shut, Redcar is recovering," 6 June 2019 Spread the cloves on a cutting board and whack them with a heavy pot. Helen Rosner, The New Yorker, "Humanity’s Eternal Quest for a Better Way of Peeling Garlic," 18 June 2019 My neck was whacked out and my scalp was ripped from eyebrow to ear. Anne Raup, Anchorage Daily News, "Rocket Man: Bill Guernsey and his handcrafted Atomic Camper," 7 Sep. 2014 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

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

This was like an insidious game of whack-a-mole: as soon as African Americans fought to remove one barrier, another new one sprang up based on false perceptions that black people were benefiting unfairly. Calvin Schermerhorn, Twin Cities, "Calvin Schermerhorn: Why the racial wealth gap persists more than 150 years after emancipation," 27 June 2019 My conceptions of masculinity and adulthood were out of whack with my perception of myself. Aram Mrjoian, Longreads, "Bearing the Weight of My Grandfathers’ Old Clothes," 15 June 2019 Stress, my doctor explained, had likely led me to stop ovulating, throwing my hormonal system out of whack and causing my hair to literally fall out of my head. Chaunie Brusie, Glamour, "How I Realized I Didn’t Need to Have It All," 24 May 2019 But when the party gets raging — when economies accelerate and stock prices ascend to levels out of whack with fundamentals — central bankers play killjoy, lifting interest rates to snuff out attendant dangers. Peter S. Goodman, New York Times, "The Era of Easy Money Is Ending, and the World Is Bracing for Shocks," 6 Feb. 2018 Thompson’s absence–and DeMarcus Cousins’ glacial foot-speed–forced the Warriors to play whack-a-mole whenever Leonard, Siakam or Gasol attacked the paint. Michael Shapiro, SI.com, "Kyle Lowry and the Factors That Allowed His Return to Form," 7 June 2019 The Mets scored another run in the third inning when Gray’s control got out of whack. Patrick Saunders, The Denver Post, "Rockies fall to Mets on a so-so night from starter Jon Gray," 8 June 2019 Petersburg water meters have been wildly out of whack in recent years. Washington Post, "Issues of race and scandal pulse through Virginia primary contest," 6 June 2019 Getting your period can throw your entire day out of whack. Jo Yurcaba, Woman's Day, "There's a Reason You Get Really Bad Diarrhea During Your Period," 3 June 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

10 Jul 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).


something desired as essential

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