- to make one's way through woods by cutting at undergrowth, branches, etc.
- to travel through woods.
- to pull a boat upstream from on board by grasping bushes, rocks, etc., on the shore.
- to fight as a bushwhacker or guerrilla in the bush.
- to fight as a bushwhacker; ambush.
- to defeat, especially by surprise or in an underhanded way: They bushwhacked our high school team when they used college players.
Origin of bushwhack
- a person or thing that bushwhacks.
- (in the American Civil War) a guerrilla, especially a Confederate.
- any guerrilla or outlaw.
- Australian Slang. an unsophisticated person; hick.
Origin of bushwhacker
Examples from the Web for bushwhacking
Calling the citizens together, I said to them that this bushwhacking must cease.The Citizen-Soldier
A bushwhacking war was waged by the outlaws for more than three years.Thirty Years on the Frontier
Momentarily, he slowed his pace, thinking he was ripe for a bushwhacking job.First on the Moon
He asked Lou and Becky and all the servants if he hadn't been bushwhacking.Slave Narratives: A Folk History of Slavery in the United States From Interviews with Former Slaves
Work Projects Administration
But here I was disarmed, and after an hour's march seated among them bushwhacking in an old cabin on a hillside.Duffels
- (tr) US, Canadian and Australian to ambush
- (intr) US, Canadian and Australian to cut or beat one's way through thick woods
- (intr) US, Canadian and Australian to range or move around in woods or the bush
- (intr) US and Canadian to fight as a guerrilla in wild or uncivilized regions
- (intr) NZ to work in the bush, esp at timber felling
- US, Canadian and Australian a person who travels around or lives in thinly populated woodlands
- Australian informal an unsophisticated person; boor
- a Confederate guerrilla during the American Civil War
- US any guerrilla
- NZ a person who works in the bush, esp at timber felling
Word Origin and History for bushwhacking
also bush-whacker, 1809, American English, literally "one who beats the bushes" (to make his way through), perhaps modeled on Dutch bosch-wachter "forest keeper;" see bush (n.) + whack (v.). In American Civil War, "irregular who took to the woods" (1862), variously regarded as patriot guerillas or as freebooters. Hence bushwhack (v.), 1837; bushwhacking (1826).