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[hwip-sawd, wip-] /ˈʰwɪpˌsɔd, ˈwɪp-/
adjective, Stock Exchange.
subjected to a double loss, as when an investor has bought a stock at a high price soon before it declines and then, in order to make good the loss, sells it short before it advances.
Origin of whipsawed


[hwip-saw, wip-] /ˈʰwɪpˌsɔ, ˈwɪp-/
a saw for two persons, as a pitsaw, used to divide timbers lengthwise.
verb (used with object), whipsawed, whipsawed or whipsawn, whipsawing.
to cut with a whipsaw.
to win two bets from (a person) at one turn or play, as at faro.
to subject to two opposing forces at the same time:
The real-estate market has been whipsawed by high interest rates and unemployment.
verb (used without object), whipsawed, whipsawed or whipsawn, whipsawing.
(of a trailer, railroad car, etc.) to swing suddenly to the right or left, as in rounding a sharp curve at high speed.
First recorded in 1530-40; whip + saw1 Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for whipsawed
Historical Examples
  • On the doorstep of the whipsawed house she found Uncle Billie Gibson.

    The Silent Alarm Roy J. Snell
  • The message had warned her to retreat, to return to the whipsawed cabin and wait.

    The Silent Alarm Roy J. Snell
  • Little Hallie, too, was quite as mysterious as the whipsawed cabin in which she lived.

    The Silent Alarm Roy J. Snell
  • The timbers for it were hewed out by hand; the boards and planking were whipsawed.

    The Valley of the Giants Peter B. Kyne
  • Uncle Isaac and I borrowed the saw and went to work and whipsawed lumber for sluice boxes.

    A Trip to California in 1853

    Washington Bailey
  • It seemed to her that the hard, whipsawed planks were pushing through the soft flesh to the bones.

    The Yukon Trail

    William MacLeod Raine
  • Now Ed's packed in, that 265 baby's been whipsawed; it's a full-fledged orphan, goin' an' comin'.'

    Faro Nell and Her Friends Alfred Henry Lewis
  • Darkness had fallen “from the wings of night” when Marion slipped alone out of the whipsawed cabin.

    The Silent Alarm Roy J. Snell
  • From out the clump of mountain ivy that skirted the hill above the whipsawed cabin there had darted a shadow.

    The Silent Alarm Roy J. Snell
  • The cheery lamplight that suddenly burst forth through the small square window of the whipsawed cabin below reassured her.

    The Silent Alarm Roy J. Snell
British Dictionary definitions for whipsawed


any saw with a flexible blade, such as a bandsaw
verb (transitive) -saws, -sawing, -sawed, -sawed, -sawn
to saw with a whipsaw
(US) to defeat in two ways at once
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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Slang definitions & phrases for whipsawed



  1. To attack or operate by letting rival parties attack one another, to the benefit of the more or less passive manipulator: pit one plant against another, using interplant rivalries to spur production, a tactic called ''whipsawing'' (1873+)
  2. To assault; defeat; clobber: I'm not trying to sandbag anybody, and I'm not trying to whipsaw anybody/ Tormented? Driven Witless? Whipsawed by Confusion? (1970s+)

[first sense perhaps fr the reciprocal action of the whipsaw, a pit saw operated by one person above and one in the pit below; in an earlier slang use whipsaw meant ''to take bribes from two political sources at once''; second sense probably fr the cutting efficiency of this two-person saw]

The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
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