View synonyms for bushwhack


[ boosh-hwak, -wak ]

verb (used without object)

  1. to make one's way through woods by cutting at undergrowth, branches, etc.
  2. to travel through woods.
  3. to pull a boat upstream from on board by grasping bushes, rocks, etc., on the shore.
  4. to fight as a bushwhacker or guerrilla in the bush.

verb (used with object)

  1. to fight as a bushwhacker; ambush.
  2. to defeat, especially by surprise or in an underhanded way:

    They bushwhacked our high school team when they used college players.


/ ˈbʊʃˌwæk /


  1. tr to ambush
  2. intr to cut or beat one's way through thick woods
  3. intr to range or move around in woods or the bush
  4. intr to fight as a guerrilla in wild or uncivilized regions
  5. intr to work in the bush, esp at timber felling
“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 History and Origins

Origin of bushwhack1

An Americanism first recorded in 1830–40; back formation from bushwhacker
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Example Sentences

Still, visitors have bushwhacked pathways through the brush to visit the trail, and the uptick in tourists has caused damage to the surrounding area and to the tree itself.

I spent golden days here in my youth, bushwhacking through thick mountain forest with Grandpa, hooking fish, gathering huckleberries, and splitting firewood with an ax as tall as my skinny 12-year-old frame.

Be sure to book a plane with tires, rather than floats, or you might find yourself bushwhacking to get to the dunes.

He was also the Newt who had tried to bushwhack Chuck on the trail.

All your friends that helped bushwhack me will itch to get that five hundred, Sebastian.

Figured that in my stocking feet I could creep up on the two fellows who were trying to bushwhack you.

Look out for a big bushwhack, and be prepared to shoot at half a second's notice.