\ 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 Tricycle riders must keep a sanitizing liquid in the taxi to wipe it down after each trip. W. Gyude Moore, Quartz Africa, "Curfews are a safer plan than total lockdowns to slow Covid-19’s spread in informal economies," 11 Apr. 2020 Reorganize your fridge: Take everything out one shelf at a time, consolidate, wipe down the shelves with white vinegar diluted in warm water. Aliza Abarbanel, Bon Appétit, "17 Ways to Feel Good at Home Right Now," 18 Mar. 2020 The company claims after firing a CleanShot shell, your barrel will be wiped clean. Matthew Every, Outdoor Life, "Weird, Off-Beat, and Cool Guns and Gear from SHOT Show 2020," 11 Feb. 2020 For long hours the farmers silently navigated the streambeds, stopping only to drink water and wipe their brows. National Geographic, "This Vietnamese national park is a spice lover’s dream," 18 Jan. 2020 If any candy has seeped to the outside, gently wipe it away with a paper towel. Carrie Knauer, baltimoresun.com/maryland/carroll, "Carrie’s Kitchen: Making sweet food gifts for Christmas always a great idea," 9 Dec. 2019 Imagine teams of ushers wearing masks and gloves, constantly wiping down railings. Los Angeles Times, "Drive-in games? Sparse crowds? They could be part of sports’ new normal," 24 Apr. 2020 Employees have been asked to maintain proper social distances and wipe off high-touch surfaces and tools. Staff, Indianapolis Star, "Our Hoosier life: One day in Indiana under coronavirus," 23 Apr. 2020 When wearing a mask, remember to continue social distancing, wash hands frequently and wipe down surfaces and packages. Karen L. Labat, The Conversation, "Making masks at home – what you need to know about how to reduce the transmission of coronavirus," 16 Apr. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Officials plan to provide all poll workers with gloves, masks, hand sanitizer and wipes, and the state has purchased 50 additional ballot drop-off boxes for counties. Time, "Nebraska to Hold In-Person Primary Despite Coronavirus Concerns," 3 May 2020 Besides temperature checkpoints, masks, sanitizer, and wipes, the guidelines recommend rearranging desks and meeting room seating to ensure social distancing, having workers use disposable desk covers, and installing dividers between workspaces. Will Knight, Wired, "The Cubicle Is Back. Blame (or Thank) the Coronavirus," 30 Apr. 2020 Alyssa always carries a mask, gloves, hand sanitizer and antibacterial wipes in a little purse just in case she's confronted with a cough, sneeze or dirty area. Suzanne Malveaux, CNN, "Girl with rare blood disease inspires her peers to meet Covid-19 pandemic with hope, not fear," 25 Apr. 2020 Facebook is allowing many of the alcohol posts to remain on its site, despite the company's policy against exploitative sales of other disinfectants like hand sanitizer and wipes. Washington Post, "Welcome to The Technology 202, our guide to the intersection of technology and politics.," 24 Apr. 2020 One of the shops that has held on in Terminal 4 at Kennedy is Chocolate & More, a sweets shop that has added hand sanitizer and disinfecting wipes to its usual wares. Patrick Mcgeehan, New York Times, "Now Arriving at La Guardia Airport: One Passenger," 15 Apr. 2020 While hand sanitizer and wipes seem like one of those things that last forever, that's not the case at all. Shayna Murphy, USA TODAY, "Hand sanitizer is hard to find—here's where you can still buy it," 15 Apr. 2020 The demand has been so great, in fact, that EBay has forbid the sale of hand sanitizer and disinfecting wipes in the wake of egregious price gouging. Lisa Boone, Los Angeles Times, "How to make your own hand sanitizer at home," 14 Apr. 2020 That means staggering guests, respecting the 6-foot social distancing standard, and keeping hand sanitizer and antibacterial wipes available. John Nugent, Houston Chronicle, "Realtor View: Real estate in a coronavirus world," 5 Apr. 2020

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

12 May 2020

Cite this Entry

“Wipe.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/wipe. Accessed 24 May. 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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