\ 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

The voltage whacks electrons off the lithium atoms, leaving them with a positive charge. Sarah Scoles, Scientific American, "The Good Kind of Crazy: The Quest for Exotic Propulsion," 29 July 2019 Pederson matched Muncy in the third, whacking a fastball over the right-field wall for another two-run shot to double the Dodgers’ lead. Los Angeles Times, "Walker Buehler shuts down Marlins to complete sweep for Dodgers," 21 July 2019 Miami was able to respond an inning later, when Harold Ramirez whacked the ball into left field. Christian Simmons, sun-sentinel.com, "Mets get Cano tape-measure shot in eighth to snap tie, sink Marlins," 14 July 2019 After a clean second inning, Scott Kingery whacked a fastball over the plate for a leadoff home run in the third. Los Angeles Times, "Cody Bellinger powers merciless Dodgers to blowout win over Phillies," 15 July 2019 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

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

In a game of whack-a-mole, one agency destroyed and another rebuilt. Los Angeles Times, "After 9 years on L.A.’s streets, Big Mama needed a home. But it wasn’t that easy," 15 Aug. 2019 Having the federal government break the back of exclusionary policies would require not one law but a concerted whack-a-mole approach needing significant ongoing commitment. Matthew Yglesias, Vox, "America’s dual housing crisis and what Democrats plan to do about it, explained," 30 July 2019 If those two things are out of whack, prices go up. BostonGlobe.com, "The week in business," 5 Aug. 2019 But interventions have a better chance of working in the longer term if the currency is way out of whack. The Economist, "America should resist the temptation to weaken the dollar," 25 July 2019 When that doesn’t happen, as is the case in tennis right now, everything gets thrown out of whack. oregonlive.com, "Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal still dominate, evidence this isn’t tennis’ greatest era: 2019 Wimbledon," 8 July 2019 Cortisol, the stress hormone, can affect all of your other hormones, too, causing them to be all out of whack. Jenn Sinrich, SELF, "5 Signs You're Dealing with Hormonal Acne—and How to Treat It," 2 July 2019 This is the out-of-whack state of the city right now — cranes redrawing the skyline while the social fabric ruptures at our feet. Steve Lopez, latimes.com, "Meth addiction is an epidemic, and it’s complicating the homeless relief effort," 29 June 2019 Beyond the fact that our federal deficits are already out of whack, thanks in large part to the Trump administration, the problem demands a far more nuanced approach. Robert Gebelhoff, The Denver Post, "Commentary: Yes, I want to pay off my student loans, but these relief plans aren’t serious," 26 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

7 Aug 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).


not constant or steady

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