wipe·​out | \ ˈwīp-ˌau̇t How to pronounce wipeout (audio) \

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

wiped out; wiping out; wipes 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

In 2015, Greece was on the forefront of a wave of populist revolutions around the world, voting into power a band of radical leftists who promised to reject economic austerity and revive the nation after a wipeout as big as the Great Depression. Michael Birnbaum, Washington Post, "Greek elections are expected to bring a populist experiment to an end," 6 July 2019 But the scale of the Istanbul wipeout could shake Erdogan’s hold on nationwide power. Laura King, latimes.com, "How will Turkey’s authoritarian president react to opposition’s big win in Istanbul mayoral race?," 24 June 2019 But Boettcher didn’t even give him a chance for such a wipeout. Joe Pinsker, The Atlantic, "How James Holzhauer Finally Lost," 3 June 2019 What if people posted images of those far more frequent mess-ups and total wipeouts for all their followers to see? Karen Rinaldi, Glamour, "How I Stopped "Doing It For the 'Gram" and Learned to Love "Unlikeable" Moments," 22 May 2019 The natural party of government for much of the past century-and-a-half could face catastrophe, in the form of an internal split or a wipeout in the next election. The Economist, "The question is not who will lead the Conservative Party, but whether it will survive," 13 June 2019 Five of the losses are on Staley’s watch, including this year’s 83-58 wipeout in Columbia. Mel Greenberg, Philly.com, "Women's March Madness preview: Geno Auriemma and UConn face Dawn Staley and South Carolina," 25 Mar. 2018 Manoah, the Big 12 Pitcher of the Year with his overpowering fastball and wipeout slider, became the first player in WVU history to strike out at least 15 batters in complete-game efforts on consecutive weeks. Walter Villa Miami Herald Writer, miamiherald, "Former South Dade pitcher goes to Blue Jays at No. 11 in first round of MLB Draft," 4 June 2019 Commenting on Nancy Pelosi’s effort to be elected speaker of the House—now controlled by the Democrats after the Republicans lost at least 38 seats, including close to complete wipeouts in New Jersey and Southern California—Mr. Daniel Henninger, WSJ, "Trump Ridicules Republicans," 28 Nov. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

And there is a chance—however unlikely—that the legal liabilities wipe out stockholders altogether. Charley Grant, WSJ, "It’s Not Too Late for Bayer to Heal," 22 June 2019 Preliminary estimates showed that a tax hike wouldn’t wipe out the savings produced by an exemption, according to Gorzell. Dylan Mcguinness, ExpressNews.com, "San Antonio could add a homestead exemption, but there’s also talk of higher taxes," 21 June 2019 One vulnerability of this tactic, as Holzhauer told me previously, was that a wrong answer could wipe out his winnings. Joe Pinsker, The Atlantic, "How James Holzhauer Finally Lost," 3 June 2019 Since the mid-’00s, fishers in villages in the mangrove-rich estuaries of Koh Kong province have complained that rampant sand mining was wiping out the crabs and fish that provide their living. Vince Beiser, National Geographic, "Sand mining threatens ways of life, from Cambodia to Nigeria," 23 Apr. 2019 The finding implies that the population of Neanderthals in the Caucasus may have been wiped out at some point and replaced by an influx of Neanderthals from another region. Cathleen O'grady, Ars Technica, "Five new ancient genomes tell us about Neanderthal tribes," 22 Mar. 2018 If fears of unintended consequences can be overcome, this method might one day enable us to wipe out rats on an unheard-of scale, without poison. Charlie Hamilton James, National Geographic, "How rats became an inescapable part of city living," 17 June 2019 After Navy warships used their big guns to wipe out the German coastal defenses, his artillery group in the 29th Infantry Division would come ashore at Omaha Beach. John Wilkens, San Diego Union-Tribune, "D-Day still calls to them, 75 years later," 4 June 2019 Further there are more connections in C compared to A so there are more opportunities for the mutation to be wiped out. Quanta Magazine, "Solution: ‘Evolutionary Math and Just-So Stories’," 7 Sep. 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


1906, in the meaning defined at sense 1


1535, in the meaning defined at transitive sense

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Statistics for wipeout

Last Updated

11 Jul 2019

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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