\ 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
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

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 History confirms the folly of trying to play whack-a-mole. Marvin D. Seppala, STAT, "Money from opioid lawsuits is urgently needed now," 30 Mar. 2021 His son tackles one of them and Hutch has a chance to whack one of them with a golf club. Bill Goodykoontz, The Arizona Republic, "Bob Odenkirk as a mousy man with a secret set of skills is the best thing about 'Nobody'," 22 Mar. 2021 Brockhouse sees an opening to whack at Nirenberg over the city’s response to the February storm — particularly an information blackout from city leaders as the worst of the freeze hit. Joshua Fechter, San Antonio Express-News, "Despite COVID-19 pandemic and winter freeze, San Antonio mayor's race off to quiet start," 21 Mar. 2021 Scrambling to secure one of the 62 slots feels like playing whack-a-mole. Washington Post, "At Lucky Danger, two talented chefs just want to have fun with their American Chinese food," 19 Mar. 2021 In São Paulo, officials have resorted to the whack-a-mole tactic of raiding nightlife hotspots to disperse gatherings of hundreds, Reuters reported. Matt Rivers, CNN, "Brazil's Covid-19 resurgence is pushing hospitals to overflowing," 15 Mar. 2021 The Tax Foundation this week also warned that Biden’s plan to end the 2017 Trump tax cuts will jump corporate costs and whack the middle class. Paul Bedard, Washington Examiner, "Biden taxes: $2,000 per family and 40-cents a gallon, warns Grover Norquist," 1 Mar. 2021 Even players' characters themselves can become the ball, allowing their teammates to whack an opponent. Brett Molina, USA TODAY, "Dodgeball gets futuristic twist in new video game 'Knockout City' available in May," 18 Feb. 2021 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 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun That wealthy people are now pouring their excess money into carbon-intensive digital currencies and non-fungible tokens should be evidence enough that our tax policy is out of whack. Kate Aronoff, The New Republic, "Don’t Fall for the Carbon Tax Trap," 31 Mar. 2021 City officials said how much each group is paying has gotten relatively out of whack, because the last time San Diego did a comprehensive analysis of how much everyone should be paying was 14 years ago. David Garrick, San Diego Union-Tribune, "San Diego may propose 28 percent sewer rate hikes for single-family homes," 25 Mar. 2021 The star casting also throws the balance out of whack. Helen Shaw, Vulture, "Six Minutes to Midnight Runs Out the Clock," 24 Mar. 2021 In the 1970s, Segal was among Hollywood’s busiest and most recognizable actors, appearing in films whose comedy and outlook, sometimes strikingly out of whack with today’s sensibility, were characteristic of the decade. BostonGlobe.com, "George Segal, durable veteran of drama and TV comedy, dies at 87," 24 Mar. 2021 Because of the coronavirus pandemic’s stay-at-home effect—with gym memberships on pause and exercise schedules and routines out of whack—many of us are starting from a lower baseline of activity, and that creates more risk of injury. Anne Marie Chaker, WSJ, "Tips on How to Return to an Outdoor Workout Routine," 22 Mar. 2021 The Fed began to roll out measure after measure in a bid to soothe conditions, first offering huge temporary infusions of cash to banks, then accelerating plans to buy Treasury bonds as that market swung out of whack. New York Times, "The Financial Crisis the World Forgot," 16 Mar. 2021 Doing so could throw your debt-to-income ratio out of whack, delaying or even jeopardizing your loan approval. Brittany Anas, House Beautiful, "What Every Homebuyer Should Expect When Closing on a Home," 12 Mar. 2021 In short, with the annual rejection of our natural circadian rhythm, our body clocks are thrown out of whack, resulting, among other things, in serious damage to our health. Steve H. Hanke, National Review, "It’s Time to Dump Daylight Saving," 12 Mar. 2021

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

3 Apr 2021

Cite this Entry

“Whack.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/whack. Accessed 11 Apr. 2021.

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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

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for whack

Nglish: Translation of whack for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of whack for Arabic Speakers

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