1 of 3


: a solid blow
: the loud sound of a hard impact


2 of 3


variants or whammo
: with violent abruptness
everything was going well; then wham the deal fell through


3 of 3


whammed; whamming

transitive verb

: to propel, strike, or beat so as to produce a loud impact

intransitive verb

: to hit or explode with a loud impact

Example Sentences

Noun gave the TV a good wham with her fist, and suddenly the picture came back on
Recent Examples on the Web
Bryan Ferry, Brian Eno and company made their wham-bam-glam debut on ‘Roxy Music’ 50 years ago. Jill Krajewski, SPIN, 8 June 2022 Perhaps my overall disappointment stems from this pilot stiffness, but the more likely culprit is the standard brashness of American reality television, which is less cinema vérité and more wham-bam-thank-you-ma'am. Robyn Bahr, The Hollywood Reporter, 4 Feb. 2020 But the movie, for all its retrograde politics and wham-bam machismo, can also be slick, silly fun — a giddy exercise in freewheeling nihilism, played to the hilt. Leah Greenblatt, EW.com, 23 Jan. 2020 The movie comes at you with a quick, wham-bam style that feels like a nod to the source material, a DC Vertigo comic-book series by Ollie Masters and Ming Doyle. San Diego Union-Tribune, 8 Aug. 2019
Goalscorer Asamoah Gyan took the resulting penalty, only to wham it off the top of the bar. SI.com, 21 June 2019

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'wham.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History




First Known Use


1739, in the meaning defined at sense 1


1924, in the meaning defined above


1925, in the meaning defined at transitive sense

Time Traveler
The first known use of wham was in 1739

Dictionary Entries Near wham

Cite this Entry

“Wham.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/wham. Accessed 29 May. 2023.

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