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[whip-it, wip-] /ˈwhɪp ɪt, ˈwɪp-/
one of a breed of small, swift dogs resembling a greyhound, used for hunting rabbits and for racing.
Also called whippet tank. a fast, light tank used by the British in World War I.
Origin of whippet
First recorded in 1490-1500; perhaps alteration of phrase whip it move briskly Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for whippet
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • Long first and second thighs are a sine qua non in the whippet.

    Sporting Dogs

    Frank Townend Barton
  • Two chains there were, like double-leashes to a whippet's throat.

    Wide Courses

    James Brendan Connolly
  • Red Kerry was built on the lines of a whippet, but carried the equipment of an Irish terrier.

    Dope Sax Rohmer
  • The machine, yielding to the urge, tugged forward, straining at its bonds like a whippet eager for a race.

    Darkness and Dawn George Allan England
  • A whippet tank crunched over the wreck and covered the group with its multiple pom-poms.

    The Velvet Glove Harry Harrison
  • I was dropping asleep when a rabbit rushed under the blanket, all of a shiver, and a whippet dog after it.

    The White Peacock D. H. (David Herbert) Lawrence
  • In all there are about fifty-five dogs, fifty-four of whom are in robust health, the hospital containing one whippet.

  • In his excitement he squatted down on his haunches, for all the world like a man encouraging a whippet.

    Mrs. Bindle Hebert Jenkins
British Dictionary definitions for whippet


a small slender breed of dog similar to a greyhound in appearance
Word Origin
C16: of uncertain origin; perhaps based on the phrase whip it! move quickly!
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
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Word Origin and History for whippet

small, fast type of dog, c.1600, probably from whip (v.) in the sense of "move quickly" + diminutive suffix -et Used earlier (1540s) in reference to "a brisk, nimble woman."

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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