wipe·​out | \ ˈwīp-ˌau̇t \

Definition of wipeout

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : the act or an instance of wiping out : complete or utter destruction
2 : a fall or crash caused usually by losing control
3 : a total or decisive defeat : drubbing

wipe out


Definition of wipe out (Entry 2 of 2)

transitive verb

: to destroy completely : annihilate

intransitive verb

: to fall or crash usually as a result of losing control

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Examples of wipeout in a Sentence


The surfer had a nasty wipeout.


he didn't get his gambling under control until he had already wiped out his entire life savings

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

And mainstream media breathlessly declaring last night's election results are a total wipeout for the president. Fox News, "Jay Sekulow: Mueller investigation needs to end 'very soon'," 9 Aug. 2018 In the race for the House, both sides acknowledge the prospect of a wipeout-style wave is shrinking. Lisa Mascaro, The Seattle Times, "Senate slipping away as Dems fight to preserve blue wave," 23 Oct. 2018 From Greg Brady’s surfing wipeout on The Brady Bunch to Joey falling for a hula dancer on Full House, depictions of Hawaii in popular culture have typically ranged from brainless to downright offensive. Annemarie Conte, Woman's Day, "I Took My Daughter to Hawaii to Teach Her How to Be a Better Traveler," 1 Aug. 2018 Knievel suffered numerous injuries as a result of the crash; though ironically the wild wipeout raised his profile like nothing had before. Jace Evans, USA TODAY, "Travis Pastrana nails 3 iconic Evel Knievel stunts in tribute show in Las Vegas," 8 July 2018 Only five of the 25 riders actually completed their first runs, with a number of wipeouts and three bailing on jumps. Dan Wolken, USA TODAY, "Jamie Anderson wins her second Olympic gold in women's snowboard slopestyle," 12 Feb. 2018 Both were pressured by shares of ZTE, which plunged about 40%—an $8 billion wipeout—on their first day of trading after nearly two months. Jon Sindreu, WSJ, "U.S. Stocks Slip After Fed Decision," 13 June 2018 The Caesar’s Palace stunt was never completed by Knievel, after a disastrous wipeout during his first attempt in 1965. Lindsay Kimble, PEOPLE.com, "Evel Knievel Rides Again! Travis Pastrana Completes 3 of Daredevil's Most Famous Jumps," 9 July 2018 But the main event of the night will have Pastrana attempt to jump 140-feet over the Caesar’s Palace Fountain, a stunt that Knievel never tried again after the monstrous wipeout that cemented his national stardom. Jason Duaine Hahn, PEOPLE.com, "Stuntman Travis Pastrana Will Attempt Evel Knievel’s Most Death-Defying Feats on Live TV This Weekend," 6 July 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

In the 1500s, the arriving Spanish in Mexico wiped out the Aztec and Incan empires. Mark Barna, Discover Magazine, "When Farmers and Foragers First Met," 24 Oct. 2018 But the global financial crisis and a collapse in oil prices wiped out 75 percent of its value by the end of 2008. Recode Staff, Recode, "Recode Daily: Apple’s path to $2 trillion," 3 Aug. 2018 And indeed, about halfway through this fifth installment of the now 25-year-old film franchise, the park—and the whole accursed Isla Nublar—is wiped out, consumed by volcanic fire that, somehow, our heroes are able to outrun. Richard Lawson, HWD, "Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom," 5 June 2018 Grapevines, like the heroines in D. W. Griffith movies, are subject to every kind of trial: in addition to the pests that wipe out whole vineyards, more than sixty specific viruses unique to grapevines have been identified. Adam Gopnik, The New Yorker, "A Vintner’s Quest to Create a Truly American Wine," 14 May 2018 The closure of schools wiped out the first day of play for many. Randy Mcroberts, The Aegis, "Spring sports season shut down before it can start," 21 Mar. 2018 LaPierre attacked the mainstream/national/liberal media as a conduit for a socialism tsunami that is scheduled to wipe out America any day now. John Hendrickson, Esquire, "Wayne LaPierre Is Not Backing Down," 22 Feb. 2018 Amid fears that Carige could collapse without fresh funding or capital, wiping out its shares and bonds and hitting many Italian savers, the government quickly got its checkbook out and offered help. Giovanni Legorano, WSJ, "Pledges Made by Italy’s Populist Government Come Up Against Economic Reality," 8 Jan. 2019 The plot resets keep wiping out some of the character progress. Todd Vanderwerff, Vox, "Love it or hate it, season 3 of The Good Place is taking us somewhere new (again)," 12 Oct. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'wipeout.' 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 wipeout


1921, in the meaning defined at sense 1


1535, in the meaning defined at transitive sense

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Statistics for wipeout

Last Updated

26 Dec 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for wipeout

The first known use of wipeout was in 1535

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More Definitions for wipeout



English Language Learners Definition of wipeout

US : a sudden, violent fall by someone who is riding a bicycle, surfing, skiing, etc.

More from Merriam-Webster on wipeout

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with wipeout

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