\ˈwīp \
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


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.


With a wipe, the spill was gone.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Miller wiped his official Instagram account clean, only leaving caption-less photos of the artwork for each of his new singles. Nerisha Penrose, Billboard, "Mac Miller Returns From Hiatus With Three New Songs," 30 May 2018 The discs are routinely provided to buyers of new computers to enable them to reinstall their operating systems if the computers' hardware fails or must be wiped clean. Tom Jackman, latimes.com, "Electronics-recycling innovator faces prison for trying to extend computers' lives," 15 Feb. 2018 By this time, residue from the exhaust plume dried to the lens but thankfully wiped clean with some lens fluid. Michael Stillwell, Popular Mechanics, "How To Photograph a Rocket Launch," 6 July 2018 The final tally: 95% of California's original Redwood forest was logged, wiped clean, leaving only giant stumps as reminders of what had stood here for so long. CBS News, "Mapping the genome of redwoods," 1 July 2018 Boyega’s tweet comes in the wake of his costar Kelly Marie Tran wiping her Instagram account clean after enduring months of harassment on social media. Mike Miller, PEOPLE.com, "John Boyega Slams Star Wars Haters After Costar Leaves Instagram Over Abuse," 12 June 2018 The episode’s dark view of immortality is an implicit rejection of the promise of Westworld, which offers the opposite of immortality: a world utterly free of consequences, where your slate will always be wiped clean. Scott Meslow, GQ, "Westworld Season 2 Episode 4 Recap: My Immortal," 14 May 2018 The quarterback room overall, which was completely wiped clean by John Dorsey, was a failure of everyone's making. Doug Lesmerises, cleveland.com, "The DeShone Kizer answer for why Tyrod Taylor should start for the Browns: Doug Lesmerises," 10 May 2018 The exterior and interior, including the heating coil, of the appliance can be wiped clean with a damp cloth. Jolie Kerr, SELF, "How to Clean an Instant Pot, Spiralizer, and Other Tricky Kitchen Tools," 24 Apr. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

She's been supported with diapers, wipes, formula, hygiene products and more. Cortlynn Stark, kansascity, "Mom almost called social services on herself. KCPD and its social workers stepped up," 10 July 2018 For Sir John, that includes wipes, Q-tips, blush, mascara, and a little bit of moisture. Taylore Glynn, Marie Claire, "What Happened When I Took a Private Jet with Beyonce's Makeup Artist," 7 May 2018 Dispose of facial tissues, diaper wipes, cotton swabs, and bandages in a trash can; never flush them down the toilet. Joesph Truini, Popular Mechanics, "8 Easy Ways to Save Water This Summer," 30 July 2012 The caption accompanies two photos: One of the package of face wipes, and another showing what looks like a very uncomfortable rash on Alyssa's chin, neck, and chest. Marci Robin, Allure, "Woman's Viral Facebook Post Claims Makeup Remover Wipes Caused a Severe Rash," 9 May 2018 My to-do list is constantly overflowing, like my toilet when my child stuffed it with a bunch of wet wipes. Tracey Helton Mitchell, Woman's Day, "This Is What It's Really Like to be a Mom and a Recovering Heroin Addict," 14 July 2016 Here are the best face wipes that have a permanent home in our bags and on our vanities. Rachel Nussbaum, Glamour, "The 10 Best Face Wipes Glamour Editors Can't Live Without," 27 June 2018 The wipes get everything so quickly — that for me is the double cleansing. Ashley Weatherford, The Cut, "Kerry Washington on Why Makeup Isn’t Frivolous," 8 May 2018 Some of the wipes in question were for cleaning surfaces or removing cosmetics. The Economist, "Build a better bog roll," 19 Apr. 2018

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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Dictionary Entries near wipe


Winyah Bay



wipe away

wipe break

wiped out

Statistics for wipe

Last Updated

30 Sep 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for wipe

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

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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 \
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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Comments on wipe

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