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

Still, officials have made plain that the president watches the markets closely and was dismayed by sharp downturns that wiped out much of the gains recorded during his presidency. Paul Kiernan, WSJ, "Jerome Powell Is ‘100% Safe’ at Fed, Trump Economic Adviser Says," 26 Dec. 2018 He was called for two holding penalties, including one that wiped out a 32-yard pass from Russell Wilson to J.D. McKissic that appeared to convert a third-and-4 on Seattle’s first possession of overtime. Bob Condotta, The Seattle Times, "Seahawks lose Bradley McDougald, Jordan Simmons to injury vs. 49ers, but Baldwin returns with a vengeance," 16 Dec. 2018 There have also been warnings that Trump’s tariffs could wipe out any positive effects of the tax cuts the GOP passed in 2017. Emily Stewart, Vox, "They’re not.," 24 July 2018 His Davis Family Farms also faces hurricanes that could wipe out his crop. Andrew Mayeda, chicagotribune.com, "Across U.S., wary businesses gird for a Trump trade war," 18 June 2018 Scientists have recently learned that the approach to gene editing can inadvertently wipe out and rearrange large swaths of DNA in ways that may imperil human health. Julia Belluz, Vox, "Is the CRISPR baby controversy the start of a terrifying new chapter in gene editing?," 30 Nov. 2018 When the recession of the early ‘90s wiped out a lot of retail, my dad was stuck, trying to figure out what to do. Eric Johnson, Recode, "Why Amazon is a ‘bully,’ and Facebook and Google are ‘the enemies of independent thought’," 3 Dec. 2018 Bets on a more dovish Fed helped send the Dow up more than 600 points Wednesday, wiping out the blue-chip index’s losses for the month. Akane Otani, WSJ, "Investors on Edge After Rocky Month for Markets," 30 Nov. 2018 Figuring out what powers the Universe's largest explosions can be a real challenge, as the explosion wipes out evidence of what caused it. John Timmer, Ars Technica, "Scientists spot two massive stars creating a pinwheel of dust," 20 Nov. 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

: 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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