Try Our Apps
Dictionary.com

follow Dictionary.com

The Best Internet Slang

whiplash

[hwip-lash, wip-] /ˈʰwɪpˌlæʃ, ˈwɪp-/
noun
1.
the lash of a whip.
2.
an abrupt snapping motion or change of direction resembling the lash of a whip.
3.
Also, whiplash injury. a neck injury caused by a sudden jerking backward, forward, or both, of the head:
Whiplash resulted when their car was struck from behind.
4.
Also called whiplash curve. a connected series of reverse curves of more or less elliptical form, used as a major design motif in the Art Nouveau style.
verb (used with object)
5.
to beat, hit, throw, etc., with or as if with a whiplash.
6.
to affect adversely, as by a sudden change:
new taxes whiplashing corporate earnings.
Origin of whiplash
1565-1575
1565-75; 1950-55 for def 6; whip + lash1
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
Cite This Source
Examples from the Web for whiplash
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • "When you came through the town you waked me up like a whiplash," he was saying.

    Way of the Lawless Max Brand
  • What was a boy's whiplash, that his resentment of it; should set all his future life in jeopardy?

    The Sea-Hawk Raphael Sabatini
  • Frederick bounded forward like a whiplash, but Tess held him back.

    Tess of the Storm Country

    Grace Miller White
  • Rafe leaped on to ride and Tom playfully snapped his whiplash at him.

    Nan Sherwood at Pine Camp Annie Roe Carr
  • The lorry climbed into the mountains, round roads which curved like a whiplash.

    Poor Folk in Spain Jan Gordon
British Dictionary definitions for whiplash

whiplash

/ˈwɪpˌlæʃ/
noun
1.
a quick lash or stroke of a whip or like that of a whip
2.
(med) See whiplash injury
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
Cite This Source
Word Origin and History for whiplash
n.

1570s, "the lash of a whip," from whip (n.) + lash (n.). The injury caused by sudden head motion so called by 1955, in reference to the notion of moving to and fro like a cracking whip. The verb in this sense is recorded by 1971.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Cite This Source
whiplash in Medicine

whiplash whip·lash (wĭp'lāsh')
n.
Whiplash injury.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Cite This Source

Word of the Day

Difficulty index for whiplash

Some English speakers likely know this word

Word Value for whiplash

19
19
Scrabble Words With Friends

Nearby words for whiplash