whiplash

noun

whip·​lash ˈ(h)wip-ˌlash How to pronounce whiplash (audio)
1
: the lash of a whip
2
: something resembling a blow from a whip
the whiplash of fearR. S. Banay
3
: injury resulting from a sudden sharp whipping movement of the neck and head (as of a person in a vehicle that is struck from the rear by another vehicle)

Examples of whiplash in a Sentence

He got whiplash when his car was rear-ended.
Recent Examples on the Web Rodrigo’s albums necessarily have to alternate her pop-punk thrashers and her ballads, to some degree, making for a little bit of whiplash for the few of us who still listen to albums in sequence. Thania Garcia, Variety, 8 May 2024 The Israel-Hamas war and the lives of Israeli hostages and 2 million Palestinians in Gaza were in a state of whiplash Tuesday. Taylor Luck, The Christian Science Monitor, 7 May 2024 See all Example Sentences for whiplash 

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'whiplash.' 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

circa 1580, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of whiplash was circa 1580

Dictionary Entries Near whiplash

Cite this Entry

“Whiplash.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/whiplash. Accessed 25 May. 2024.

Kids Definition

whiplash

noun
whip·​lash -ˌlash How to pronounce whiplash (audio)
1
: the lash of a whip
2
: injury resulting from a sudden sharp jerking movement of the head and neck (as of a person in a car that is struck from behind by another car)

Medical Definition

whiplash

noun
whip·​lash ˈhwip-ˌlash, ˈwip- How to pronounce whiplash (audio)
: injury resulting from a sudden sharp whipping movement of the neck and head (as of a person in a vehicle that is struck head-on or from the rear by another vehicle)

More from Merriam-Webster on whiplash

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