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

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 But that was little comfort to Republicans in swing congressional districts, who already fear a wipeout in this fall’s midterm elections, and who, in most cases, need to reach beyond die-hard Trump voters to win their races. David Lauter, latimes.com, "Faced with a political crisis, Trump blinks, but the crisis isn't close to being over," 22 June 2018 Bundy didn't have his typical wipeout stuff, but mixed in all four of his pitches and didn't allow much hard contact to speak of en route to seven sparkling, scoreless innings. Jon Meoli, baltimoresun.com, "Orioles scrap together run to back Dylan Bundy, beat Mets, 1-0, for two-game sweep," 6 June 2018 His feature films hewed to a simple formula, depicting winter-sport athletes in challenging locales, leavened with wipeouts and shots of pretty female skiers. Matt Higgins, New York Times, "Warren Miller, Ski Bum Turned Filmmaker, Is Dead at 93," 25 Jan. 2018 The pitch was back to the wipeout state that helped Bundy to a 1.42 ERA with 40 strikeouts in 32 innings over his first five starts. Jon Meoli, baltimoresun.com, "Orioles' Dylan Bundy reverses skid with seven two-hit, shutout innings," 13 May 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Bank of America has restored funds that were stolen from the nation’s oldest man, a 112-year-old Texas veteran who had his retirement savings wiped out. Essence.com, "Bank Restores Funds To 112-Year-Old Veteran Whose Money And Identity Was Stolen," 9 July 2018 Most of the bankruptcy petitions in Wisconsin were Chapter 7 filings, the type intended to give people a fresh start by wiping out debt such as overwhelming medical bills, utility bills and credit card balances. Paul Gores, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Wisconsin bankruptcy filings were the lowest in a decade in 2017," 18 Feb. 2018 Here’s how to build beer traps, plus 5 other natural techniques for wiping out your annoying slug problem. David Oblas, Good Housekeeping, "13 Really Weird Things Organic Gardeners Do That Actually Work," 29 Mar. 2017 The assumption is that human hunting eventually wiped out the populations of the two whale species in the region. Jason Daley, Smithsonian, "Romans May Have Hunted Whales to Extinction in Their Home Waters," 11 July 2018 Kirkland and his team also demonstrated that a combination of drugs, borrowed from the cancer world, can wipe out these older cells and even prompt younger cells to develop and replace them. Alice Park, Time, "How Scientists Are Testing Cancer Drugs to Slow Down Aging," 9 July 2018 Most Detroiters know that urban renewal in the 1950s wiped out Black Bottom and Paradise Valley, the historic African-American neighborhoods on the city’s lower east side. John Gallagher, Detroit Free Press, "Here's what you might not know about Corktown's history," 9 July 2018 Beyond the public health threats, the unsightly blooms have triggered fish kills and wiped out oysters and sea grass in past years. Jenny Staletovich, miamiherald, "Massive and toxic algae bloom threatens Florida coasts with another lost summer," 29 June 2018 Former White House economic adviser Gary Cohn, who resigned shortly after Trump announced the tariffs, cautioned earlier this month that a trade war could wipe out the economic gains of the GOP tax law. Danielle Paquette, chicagotribune.com, "Trump's top economist defends trade policies, calls Harley-Davidson move an exception," 27 June 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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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.

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Comments on wipeout

What made you want to look up wipeout? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


a state of commotion or excitement

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