\ 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

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 Before the pandemic, players were only allowed to wipe themselves down with towels after every six points, to avoid slowing play. John Leicester, ajc, 3 Aug. 2021 But seriously, half the world is on fire, and a perfectly predictable variant of a virus that’s already killed millions could possibly wipe us out. Steven Levy, Wired, 30 July 2021 Before leaving, the suspects attempted to wipe the car of their fingerprints, although police did get some fingerprints and DNA samples. cleveland, 27 Aug. 2021 Use a microfiber cloth to wipe the fan's pull chain and motor. Jessica Bennett, Better Homes & Gardens, 27 Aug. 2021 Dampen a paper towel or clean tea towel and wipe the outer jar edges and threads of the jar, if necessary. Washington Post, 26 Aug. 2021 There were other questions from a different journalist about tennis, but Osaka appeared to wipe away tears and the news conference took a break. NBC News, 17 Aug. 2021 That may mean forgetting to wipe down a lab bench, using improper glove techniques, not wearing the appropriate personal protective equipment, or not cleaning equipment properly. Ruthanne Huising, STAT, 16 Aug. 2021 Men who could wipe countries off the face of the earth at their own discretion, or blow us all to extinction, were powerless if Martha Mitchell reached for the phone. The New Yorker, 8 Aug. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun For overall cleanliness, a disinfectant wipe can swipe germs from such high-touch areas as the remote control, door handles and light switches. Washington Post, 2 Sep. 2021 Mora used a disinfectant wipe to clean the lipstick kisses off his cheeks. Isaac Chotiner, The New Yorker, 12 Aug. 2021 One factor: The industry, which has been hurt in recent years by a shift to online shopping, experienced a huge wipe-out last year, when closures were the highest on record. Julia Horowitz, CNN, 24 Aug. 2021 The company that now supplies Children's Hospital of Wisconsin, Walgreens and others recently recalled at least three wipe products, for example. Raquel Rutledge, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 11 Aug. 2021 Even after a good scrub with a makeup remover wipe, there was definitely still a distinct stain left on my lips. Esther Newman, refinery29.com, 6 Aug. 2021 One reason is human psychology: Without realizing it, a shopper used to buying five packs of wipes at a time may be content with five flat packs, instead of five tubes, even if the wipe count is lower. Gerald Porter Jr. And Bloomberg News, Star Tribune, 24 Dec. 2020 Wipe or scrape off any dough (a bench scraper is handy) and give a quick wipe-down with a damp cloth or sponge as needed. Washington Post, 1 Feb. 2021 The wipe-clean thrones are comfortably padded, but a painful fate awaits any shorts-wearer who enters a topless Bronc on a hot, sunny day. Elana Scherr, Car and Driver, 2 Aug. 2021

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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Dictionary Entries Near wipe



wipe away

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Statistics for wipe

Last Updated

10 Sep 2021

Cite this Entry

“Wipe.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/wipe. Accessed 22 Sep. 2021.

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More Definitions for wipe



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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