\ ˈwīp How to pronounce wipe (audio) \
wiped; wiping

Definition of wipe

 (Entry 1 of 2)

transitive verb

1a : to rub with or as if with something soft for cleaning
b : to clean or dry by rubbing
c : to draw, pass, or move for or as if for rubbing or cleaning wiped his hand across his brow
2a : to remove by or as if by rubbing wipe the spots off the glass
b : to expunge completely wipe from memory the gruesome scenesAmer. Guide Series: Del.
3 : to spread by or as if by wiping

intransitive verb

: to make a motion of or as if of wiping something
wipe one's boots on
: to treat with indignity
wipe the floor with or wipe the ground with
: to defeat decisively



Definition of wipe (Entry 2 of 2)

1a : blow, strike
b : jeer, gibe
2a : an act or instance of wiping
b : a transition from one scene or picture to another (as in movies or television) made by a line moving across the screen
3 : something (such as a towel) used for wiping

Examples of wipe in a Sentence

Verb Would you wipe the dishes? She wiped her eyes with a tissue. We were wiping the spots from the wine glasses. He wiped his hand across his forehead. Noun With a wipe, the spill was gone.
Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Chimbala stands center stage at New York City’s United Palace, gingerly lifting his blackout shades to wipe tears from his eyes. Neena Rouhani, Billboard, 28 Mar. 2022 Smith eventually made his way to his seat, and appeared to wipe tears from his eyes. Tre'vaughn Howard, CBS News, 28 Mar. 2022 Jackson used a tissue to wipe away tears during an impassioned and emotional speech by Senator Cory Booker of New Jersey, the only Black member of the committee. Bloomberg.com, 23 Mar. 2022 Among his supernatural powers is the ability to wipe away people’s memories, a handy tool for confusing the royals, disappearing his enemies and scrambling the path of succession to the throne. Washington Post, 15 Feb. 2022 To avoid spreading germs, use a clean microfiber cloth to wipe down surfaces, or disinfect your sponges regularly and replace them about once a month. Jessica Bennett, Better Homes & Gardens, 8 Apr. 2022 Once you're done, use a dry cloth to wipe away the junk gently. Kim Komando, USA TODAY, 23 Jan. 2022 The goal of the effort, announced earlier this year, is wipe away the property tax debt owed by about 20,000 residents. Nushrat Rahman, Detroit Free Press, 7 Dec. 2021 The payments won't wipe PG&E's slate entirely clean. Michael Liedtke, ajc, 27 May 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Your first instinct might be to use a Clorox wipe, which promises to kill 99.99 percent of household germs and bacteria. Courtney Linder, Popular Mechanics, 25 Apr. 2022 Too Soon Getting the best clean isn't always as simple as spray, wipe, and walk away. Jessica Bennett, Better Homes & Gardens, 8 Apr. 2022 For cleaning stainless steel, Zwijacz suggests a mix of water and vinegar for the initial wipe down. Erik S. Hanley, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 14 Apr. 2022 Now, his conviction is being expressed through a shoe-wipe on a fictious character, which has somehow morphed into an important issue. Sean Deveney, Forbes, 1 June 2021 Robert Siciliano, a digital security expert with Protect Now, recommends the following steps: For Windows computers, do a factory reset and use a disk-wipe utility, such as Disk Wipe or DBAN (both free), to shred any files on the hard drive. Washington Post, 20 May 2021 Simply spray the dirty areas of the car with the waterless carwash solution and wipe clean (preferably with a microfiber towel). Charles Dryer, Car and Driver, 17 Mar. 2022 The bench cushions are made from performance fabric for an easy wipe down, and the Windsor-style wooden chairs are painted a mustard yellow. Christine Lennon, Sunset Magazine, 22 Feb. 2022 And when there is little difference in functionality, as with an alcohol wipe, more emphasis is placed on price. Raquel Rutledge, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 29 Nov. 2010 See More

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

First Known Use of wipe


before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1a


1550, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

History and Etymology for wipe


Middle English wipen, from Old English wīpian; akin to Old High German wīfan to wind around, Latin vibrare to brandish, and probably to Old Norse veipa to be in movement, Sanskrit vepate it trembles

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Time Traveler for wipe

Time Traveler

The first known use of wipe was before the 12th century

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Dictionary Entries Near wipe



wipe away

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Statistics for wipe

Last Updated

13 May 2022

Cite this Entry

“Wipe.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/wipe. Accessed 21 May. 2022.

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More Definitions for wipe


\ ˈwīp How to pronounce wipe (audio) \
wiped; wiping

Kids Definition of wipe

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : to clean or dry by rubbing Will you wipe the dishes?
2 : to remove by or as if by rubbing Wipe away your tears.
wipe out
: to destroy completely

Other Words from wipe

wiper noun



Kids Definition of wipe (Entry 2 of 2)

: an act of wiping : rub


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