\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

Never mind that blood doesn’t actually luminesce under black light; the phosphorescent glow is haunting, and the process of surfaces being gradually wiped clean, erasing all evidence of what just happened, is unsettling. Tasha Robinson, The Verge, "What Keeps You Alive shows the importance of art in horror films," 24 Aug. 2018 While the Emancipation Proclamation of 1863 and the ratification of the 13th Amendment in 1865 sought to abolish legal slavery, the racist architecture and legacy of slavery could not be wiped clean. Kim Reynolds, Teen Vogue, "How White People Have Reacted to Black Success Over Time in the United States," 30 July 2018 And in the final pages of her book, Ms. Lesser advises the reader to wipe the slate clean and start exploring Robbins’s work for him or herself. Joel Lobenthal, WSJ, "‘Jerome Robbins: A Life in Dance’ Review: Between Two Traditions," 11 Oct. 2018 Add apples and butter to the skillet and cook, tossing occasionally until beginning to turn golden brown, 2 to 3 minutes; transfer to a second plate and wipe skillet clean. Woman's Day Kitchen, Woman's Day, "Creamy Thyme Chicken with Sautéed Apples and Mushrooms," 9 Oct. 2018 But then a mysterious stranger visits him in jail with an unusual proposal: spend three months in a secret government camp and have a ten-year prison sentence wiped clean. Scott Mcewen, Fox News, "'Camp Valor' by Scott McEwen," 19 July 2018 In May, there was the mysterious case of Blake Lively wiping her Insta. Jessica Militare, Glamour, "Miley Cyrus Deleted Her Entire Instagram, and Fans Are Freaking Out," 15 July 2018 Green and Rondo also went chest to chest before halftime of Game 2 at Oracle Arena earlier this week, with Rondo later taking the unusual step of wiping his sweat on the basketball before Green attempted a free throw. Ben Golliver, SI.com, "Draymond Green, Rajon Rondo Blame Each Other for Repeated Confrontations," 5 May 2018 The glossy earthenware bowl is also included and easy to wipe clean. Stephanie Granada, Sunset, "10 Stylish Pet Furniture Picks," 22 Jan. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

These wallet-friendly charcoal wipes come in a larger size to pack in your checked bag or a smaller one to throw in your purse. Mara Balagtas, Condé Nast Traveler, "The Best Travel-Size Beauty Products to Pack in Your Carry-On," 10 July 2018 The Food and Drug Administration has approved a topical wipe that can help curtail excessive underarm sweating, the company behind the product announced Friday. Jamie Ducharme, Time, "The FDA Approved a Topical Treatment for Excessive Underarm Sweating," 30 June 2018 The data showed Clorox which ZIP codes around the country had increases in fevers; the company then directed more ads to those areas, assuming that households there may be in the market for products like its disinfecting wipes. Recode Staff, Recode, "Recode Daily: Tim Cook wants a GDPR for the rest of the world," 24 Oct. 2018 That's not easily remedied with a quick wipe either—this surface really holds onto the oil and needs a vigorous rubbing to get clean. Ron Amadeo, Ars Technica, "Pixel 3 XL review—Google software deserves better than this hardware," 15 Oct. 2018 The main consideration on how to prepare for an exam is to simply be clean, so showering or using a vaginal hygiene wipe prior to your visit is suggested. Vera Papisova, Teen Vogue, "Going to the Gynecologist: 10 Things to Know Before Your First Time," 26 Oct. 2018 Each little packet comes with a single-use wipe saturated with 19 percent aluminum zirconium tetrachlorohydrex glycine, the main antiperspirant ingredient in most deodorants, at one of the highest strengths available for an over-the-counter product. Chloe Metzger, Marie Claire, "The 5 Truly Spectacular Beauty Products I'm Loving This Week," 3 Aug. 2018 Wipe it down with an alcohol wipe every few days to de-germ, advises Carolyn Forte, director of Good Housekeeping Institute Cleaning Lab. Caroline Picard, Good Housekeeping, "QUIZ: How Normal Are Your Hygiene Habits?," 25 July 2018 After applying hair products, swipe a cleansing wipe across your face, and try to keep hair products away from your hairline. Kristin Koch, Seventeen, "Your Clear Skin Countdown: 30 Pro Tips for Getting Rid of Acne Fast," 17 Oct. 2017

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

9 Dec 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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More from Merriam-Webster on wipe

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with wipe

Spanish Central: Translation of wipe

Nglish: Translation of wipe for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of wipe for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about wipe

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a soft lustrous wool fabric with mohair

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