whammy

play
noun wham·my \ˈhwa-mē, ˈwa-\

Definition of whammy

plural

whammies

  1. 1a :  a supernatural power bringing bad luckb :  a magic curse or spell :  jinx, hex

  2. 2 :  a potent force or attack; specifically :  a paralyzing or lethal blow

whammy was our Word of the Day on 02/19/2015. Hear the podcast!

Examples of whammy in a Sentence

  1. if you tell anyone about this, I swear I'll put the whammy on you

  2. put the whammy on herself by publicly predicting that she would win the tennis tournament

Recent Examples of whammy from the Web

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'whammy'. Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

Did You Know?

The origin of whammy is not entirely certain, but it is assumed to have been created by combining wham (a solid blow) with the whimsical -y ending. The first example of whammy in print occured in 1940, but the word was popularized in the 1950s by the cartoonist Al Capp in the comic strip Li'l Abner. The character Evil-Eye Fleegle could paralyze someone with the sheer power of his gaze. The single whammy was a look with one eye, and the fearsome double whammy used both eyes. As you may know, double whammy has also found a place in English as a general term. It means "a combination of two adverse forces, circumstances, or effects" - in other words, a one-two punch.

Origin and Etymology of whammy

probably from 1wham




WHAMMY Defined for English Language Learners

whammy

play
noun

Definition of whammy for English Language Learners

  • : something (such as a magical spell) that causes someone to have bad luck



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