\ 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 The declaration does not wipe away a tenants’ obligation to pay rent and associated late fees, but instead delays it until the moratorium ends. Eric Heisig, cleveland, "CDC extends eviction moratorium as court challenges in Ohio, nationwide threaten measure’s future," 29 Mar. 2021 For the touchscreen or monitor, use a dry microfiber cloth and gently wipe horizontally, then vertically across the screen. Bryony Gilbey, chicagotribune.com, "Isopropyl alcohol for cleaning electronics," 28 Mar. 2021 Use a soft, damp cloth with a touch of soap to clean your tabletop, then wipe with a dry cloth. Washington Post, "Our homes have taken a beating over the past year. Here’s how to undo the damage.," 25 Mar. 2021 The board cited a letter in his case from the Justice Department that Trump's pardon did not wipe clean Golsteyn's record. Tom Vanden Brook, USA TODAY, "Army denies medals, Special Forces insignia, to soldier Trump pardoned for alleged murder," 18 Mar. 2021 Dab a cloth into a sudsy solution of dish soap and water and gently wipe any smudges or grime. Lauren Smith Mcdonough And Carolyn Forte, Good Housekeeping, "How to Clean Your Jewelry Like a Pro," 20 Jan. 2021 Allen went with Duncan, his football assistant, to see Rudy in theaters the day after that loss, and the inspirational story of Notre Dame’s scrappy walk-on didn’t easily wipe the hurt off of Allen’s face. Jon Blau, The Indianapolis Star, "IU football: Tom Allen has been making believers of players since his first coaching stop," 20 Nov. 2020 The agreement didn’t wipe the slate clear of most of the tariffs Trump had earlier placed on Chinese goods, so the retaliatory tariffs China had imposed also remained. Michael Hiltzik, Los Angeles Times, "Column: How China took Trump to the cleaners in their big trade deal," 27 Oct. 2020 Skip the soaking and scrubbing—simply spray this powerful detergent on your dishes, wipe them down, and rinse to cut through grease and grime without requiring you to really roll up your sleeves. Kristi Valentini, Woman's Day, "41 Home Products to Add to Your Cart ASAP," 18 Feb. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun 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 But most people asking this question are probably thinking of swimming pools, not reaching for a replacement for their standard disinfectant wipe. Elizabeth Gulino, refinery29.com, "Does Chlorine Actually Kill Coronavirus?," 1 July 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

7 Apr 2021

Cite this Entry

“Wipe.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/wipe. Accessed 13 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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