\ 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 gains wiped away its year-to-date losses and shares are now up 23% for the year. Jordan Valinsky, CNN, "Schick owner drops purchase of Harry's," 10 Feb. 2020 After the verdict was read, Krista Blanton wiped away tears. Robert Wilonsky, Dallas News, "Dallas on the hook for at least $23 million after jury sides with gas-drillers who never got city’s OK to frack," 7 Feb. 2020 Schatz wiped his eyes during Romney’s speech and, along with Leahy, followed Romney off the floor. NBC News, "Dem senator gets emotional, thanks Romney after speech," 5 Feb. 2020 LeBron James, wearing No. 24, wiped his eyes as the anthem ended. Beth Harris, BostonGlobe.com, "Lakers, Los Angeles mourn Bryants, return to action," 31 Jan. 2020 In the event of a system restart (not a full reboot, which would wipe all data in RAM), data in memory was preserved, and the Job could resume at its predetermined restart point as if nothing had happened. Frank O’brien, Ars Technica, "A deep dive into the Apollo Guidance Computer, and the hack that saved Apollo 14," 30 Jan. 2020 Finally, wipe the blades clean to remove any tiny bits of aluminum. Joseph Truini, Popular Mechanics, "How To Get Your Dull Scissors Back To Work," 21 Jan. 2020 As a red digital readout counts down the distance, Taniguchi wipes some grime off the console with a tissue. Mark Zastrow, Scientific American, "The Crystal Kings," 26 Nov. 2019 As the call was played, Basile’s mother, Lorena Frusciante, seated in the courtroom gallery, wiped away tears. Kathleen Mcwilliams, courant.com, "Emotional beginning to trial of Wethersfield teen charged with 2017 murder of 16-year-old Vincent Basile," 29 Oct. 2019 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun In South Carolina a 12-foot long clog of disposable wipes cost Charleston Water System more than $140,000 in damage and cleanup costs in October. Kristin Lam, USA TODAY, "'Toilets are not trash cans' campaign asks Utah to flush out funds for education," 11 Feb. 2020 On Monday, passengers were given new masks designed to filter out 95 percent of airborne particles, as well as packages of alcohol wipes. Ben Dooley, New York Times, "Cruise Ship’s Coronavirus Outbreak Leaves Crew Nowhere to Hide," 10 Feb. 2020 To eradicate germs, carry a pack of wipes with you and clean the surfaces surrounding your seat after you board. Whitson Gordon, Popular Science, "How to stay healthy on your next germ-filled flight," 27 Dec. 2019 For long hikes that will require packing in diapers, wipes, and extra baby clothes, select a carrier that has multiple pockets and space for water and extra gear. Timothy Dahl, Popular Mechanics, "Hike With Your Kids Using These Child Carrier Backpacks," 28 Nov. 2018 Mayors from less affected towns were bringing in help, and the National Guard pitched tents and distributed adult and baby diapers, wipes, juice and insect repellent. Patricia Mazzei, New York Times, "‘Too Much’: Dread Fills Puerto Ricans as New Earthquake Stuns Island," 11 Jan. 2020 Without potable water, staff and patients were using hand wipes for bathing. Washington Post, "St. Elizabeths declared free of legionella bacteria, will resume water usage," 24 Oct. 2019 Needs: Clothes, shoes, underwear, socks, toothbrushes, travel-size toothpaste, travel-size deodorant, travel-size wet wipes, feminine hygiene products and travel-size liquid soap. Jessica Boehm, azcentral, "Arresting people for sleeping outside is 'cruel,' U.S. Supreme Court affirms," 24 Dec. 2019 Everything is in the bag: a bottle to feed them, baby food, wipes, fluoride-free toothpaste. Mary Divine, Twin Cities, "When a child is placed in emergency foster care, this group offers bottles, clothes and comfort. You can help.," 15 Dec. 2019

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

18 Feb 2020

Cite this Entry

“Wipe.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/wipe. Accessed 25 Feb. 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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