\ 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

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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 The night of Monday, March 16th, when bars and restaurants were officially closed, the calendar had been wiped clean. Emily Witt, The New Yorker, "Performing Artists and the Financial Fallout of the Coronavirus," 22 Mar. 2020 At the pharmacy, a young man wearing a gray hoodie, cargo shorts, flip-flops, and an expensive-looking, black air-purifying mask leans on the crowd-control barrier, rubs his bare hands listlessly back and forth across it, then wipes his eyes. Anastasia Edel, The New York Review of Books, "Pandemic Journal," 21 Mar. 2020 The seniors on both sides hugged their teammates and coaches and posed for photos, mustering smiles as wide as possible and wiping away tears between shots. Greg Luca, ExpressNews.com, "Texas Lutheran, Trinity play emotional final game as sports shut down due to coronavirus," 14 Mar. 2020 James, who was seen wiping tears from his eyes when the Lakers team charter landed from Philly on Sunday, also used a handful of different emojis -- hearts, both full and broken, praying hands and tears -- throughout his Instagram caption. Chris Fedor, cleveland, "LeBron James breaks silence on Kobe Bryant’s death, promises to continue Bryant’s legacy," 28 Jan. 2020 As a Jewish survivor recited Hebrew prayers for the dead, the crowd bowed their heads or wiped away tears. Vanessa Gera, Anchorage Daily News, "Auschwitz survivors warn of rising anti-Semitism on 75th anniversary of liberation," 27 Jan. 2020 As a Jewish survivor recited Hebrew prayers for the dead, the crowd bowed their heads or wiped away tears. Time, "Auschwitz Survivors Warn of Rising Global Anti-Semitism During 75th Anniversary of the Camp's Liberation," 27 Jan. 2020 With just over eight minutes left, senior left guard Chris Malala, a silent anchor of the offensive line and the team, lowered his head and wiped away tears. David J. Kim, The Courier-Journal, "Male falls to Trinity in Class 6A state title game, its first loss in over a year," 8 Dec. 2019 And his longtime friend Robert Kardashian pulled him close for a hug, wiping away tears. Los Angeles Times, "Newsletter: Trump’s days of rage," 3 Oct. 2019 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Baker of Virginia Tech suggests bringing your own sanitizing wipes for those shopping carts. Brent Schrotenboer, USA TODAY, "Are grocery stores and pharmacies vectors for the coronavirus?," 28 Mar. 2020 Knowing that the novel coronavirus was circulating in San Antonio, Farrell-Lewis took a disinfectant wipe and carefully cleaned her mother’s hands and dabbed her forehead. Emilie Eaton, ExpressNews.com, "Doris Wallace was a creative dressmaker and a doting grandmother. She’s also San Antonio’s first victim of the coronavirus outbreak.," 28 Mar. 2020 Auctions Unlimited also sold hand sanitizer, disinfectant wipes and hand soap during the auction, which generated $154,000 in sales, according to court documents. CBS News, "Texas firm accused of price-gouging by auctioning 750,000 medical masks," 27 Mar. 2020 Instead of a firm handshake, open house visitors are now more likely to be greeted with disinfectant wipes and a request to practice social distancing, or to remain at least six feet away from other people. Randy Tucker, Cincinnati.com, "COVID-19: Buyers are scared, open houses closed, and Realtors are changing how they sell," 27 Mar. 2020 Thompson said her parks department is recommending people bring their own sanitary wipes to clean off playground equipment, as well as door handles and portable toilets, before using them. oregonlive, "Portland area parks and playgrounds stay open amid coronavirus outbreak," 19 Mar. 2020 Officials recommend people throw their wipes in the trash instead of the toilet, as a major concern is the slow buildup over time. John Gage, Washington Examiner, "'Additional public health risk': California residents warned against flushing disinfecting wipes during coronavirus outbreak," 19 Mar. 2020 Bring your own wipes Travel hasn't completely ground to a halt. Ricardo Torres, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Travel has become 'a big mess' as spring break peak approaches; crisis brings big bargains -- if you can find an open destination," 12 Mar. 2020 Clorox’s chief executive said sales of his cleaning wipes are surging as the coronavirus continues to spread. Washington Post, "Apple agrees to pay iPhone owners in settlement over slowing down older models," 2 Mar. 2020

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

31 Mar 2020

Cite this Entry

“Wipe.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/wipe. Accessed 8 Apr. 2020.

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More Definitions for wipe


How to pronounce wipe (audio)

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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More from Merriam-Webster on wipe

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for 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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