\ 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.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Verb In those early days one of the standout moments of human panic came with Klopapierhysterie, the toilet paper hysteria that saw people fighting in the aisles for the right to wipe their bums! Duncan Madden, Forbes, "Suffering From Hamsteritis? Don’t Like Wearing A Gesichtskondom? Covid-19 Creates 1,200 New German Words.," 16 Apr. 2021 In addition, some rides will be stopped occasionally to allow employees to wipe and sanitize the seats and the lap bars. Hugo Martín, Los Angeles Times, "Disneyland and California’s other theme parks are reopening. Here’s what you need to know," 13 Apr. 2021 Music blared from some cars but not loud enough to wipe away the ever-present whir of cars on the nearby interstate. Bill Glauber, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Burgers, brats and beer: Tailgating returns to American Family Field," 12 Apr. 2021 Upon seeing bodycam footage, wherein Floyd cries for his mother, Charles McMillan reached for a clutch of tissues to wipe away tears, shaking his head to compose himself. Eliott C. Mclaughlin, CNN, "Like the George Floyd witnesses, he saw police kill a man. Now, he's part of the system, demanding change," 11 Apr. 2021 People will have to wipe their shoes on sanitizing mats, wear masks, undergo a temperature check and carry their own blue-ink pen. Star Tribune, "Ecuador, Peru head to polls under strict virus measures," 10 Apr. 2021 The spectacle of the funeral, with a 23-year-old mother cuffed and unable to wipe her tears, was seen by critics of President Rodrigo Duterte as a jarring portrait of diminishing rights in the country. Regine Cabato, Washington Post, "The Philippines’ drug war is putting more pregnant women behind bars. What happens to their children?," 9 Apr. 2021 Still others on the list, such Boeing, Hilton and Pfizer, saw the pandemic wipe away their U.S. profits — and all or much of their domestic tax bills. Stephen Gandel, CBS News, "Half of S&P 500 report more money for foreign taxes than U.S. taxes," 9 Apr. 2021 Finish by spraying the area with a 50/50 mix of white vinegar and water, and then wipe away the solution with a cloth. Brett Martin, Popular Mechanics, "10 Carpet-Cleaning Secrets From the Pros," 9 Apr. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun The inventory wipe bug has happened to a few players since launch, mostly when joining a group or friends, or leaving a party. Paul Tassi, Forbes, "Outriders’ New Patch Has Made The Inventory Wipe Bug Worse," 10 Apr. 2021 Then, use a disinfecting wipe or a cotton ball dampened with 70% isopropyl alcohol to swab all sides and let air dry. Brigitt Earley, Good Housekeeping, "Everything You Should Clean At Home After Someone Has Been Sick," 11 Dec. 2020 The rectangular cloths come pre-moistened and individually wrapped in a pack of eight, each cloth as easy to use as an ordinary alcohol wipe (without the sharp, overpowering scent). Tiffany Dodson, SELF, "This Eco-Friendly Nail Polish Remover Is the Best I've Ever Used," 18 Mar. 2021 The solution then may be to apply a liberal amount of glass cleaner over the surface and wipe again. Washington Post, "My fog-free mirror is streaking. What can I do?," 15 Mar. 2021 Once the area feels smooth, rinse excess off with water and wipe clean with another microfiber cloth. Sara Rodrigues, House Beautiful, "How to Remove Scratches From Glass," 12 Feb. 2021 Did the Bachelor even have time for a wipe-down between each contestant? Ali Barthwell, Vulture, "The Bachelor Recap: Daddy Lessons," 9 Mar. 2021 Rinse with a damp soap and wipe dry with a clean tack cloth. Sara Rodrigues, House Beautiful, "How to DIY a Distressed Painted Look," 9 Mar. 2021 The ceremony included several speakers, many of whom used a sanitizing wipe on the microphone before and after each turn. Chris Dabe, NOLA.com, "A sign of the times: Karr's Destyn Hill reveals Florida State football choice on face mask," 3 Feb. 2021

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.

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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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Statistics for wipe

Last Updated

19 Apr 2021

Cite this Entry

“Wipe.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/wipe. Accessed 21 Apr. 2021.

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More Definitions for wipe



English Language Learners Definition of wipe

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: to clean or dry (something) by using a towel, your hand, etc.
: to remove (something) by rubbing
: to move (something) over a surface



English Language Learners Definition of wipe (Entry 2 of 2)

: a small, wet cloth that is used for cleaning
: an act of cleaning or drying something by using a towel, your hand, etc.


\ 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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