• synonyms


[hwak, wak]
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verb (used with object)
  1. to strike with a smart, resounding blow or blows.
  2. Slang. to divide into or take in shares (often followed by up): Whack the loot between us two.
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verb (used without object)
  1. to strike a smart, resounding blow or blows.
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  1. a smart, resounding blow: a whack with his hand.
  2. Informal. a trial or attempt: to take a whack at a job.
  3. Slang. a portion or share.
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Verb Phrases
  1. whack off,
    1. to cut off or separate with a blow: The cook whacked off the fish's head.
    2. Slang: Vulgar.to masturbate.
  2. whack out, Slang. to produce quickly or, sometimes, carelessly: She whacks out a short story every week or so.
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  1. out of whack, Informal. out of order or alignment; not in proper condition.
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Origin of whack

1710–20; orig. dial., Scots form of thwack; cf. whang2, whittle
Related formswhack·er, noun


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5. try, go, turn.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words

wallop, ding, clout, nail, rap, belt, sock, lambaste, crack, strike, wham, biff, beat, thump, buffet, bang, slap, slug, bash, box

Examples from the Web for whack

Contemporary Examples

Historical Examples

  • This gentleman said he never told a fellow what ailed him until he got his whack.

    Ned Myers

    James Fenimore Cooper

  • There was a whack as one lump hit the boat, and a grunt as the other struck some man.

  • Virginie had caught her a whack with all her might on her bare arm, just above the elbow.


    Emile Zola

  • But on most of the occasions she only caught some whack for her trouble.


    Emile Zola

  • "We won't get much of a whack at the Jerries," the colonel said rather testily.

British Dictionary definitions for whack


verb (tr)
  1. to strike with a sharp resounding blow
  2. (usually passive) British informal to exhaust completely
  3. (tr; usu foll by in or on) informal to put something on to or into something else with force or abandonwhack on some sunscreen
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  1. (tr) US slang to murderif you were out of line you got whacked
  2. a sharp resounding blow or the noise made by such a blow
  3. informal a share or portion
  4. informal a try or attempt (esp in the phrase have a whack at)
  5. out of whack informal out of order; unbalancedthe whole system is out of whack
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  1. an exclamation imitating the noise of a sharp resounding blow
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Derived Formswhacker, noun

Word Origin

C18: perhaps a variant of thwack, ultimately of imitative origin
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

Word Origin and History for whack


"to strike sharply," 1719, probably of imitative origin. The noun is from 1737. The word in out of whack (1885) is perhaps the slang meaning "share, just portion" (1785), which may be from the notion of the blow that divides, or the rap of the auctioneer's hammer.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Idioms and Phrases with whack


In addition to the idioms beginning with whack

  • whacked out
  • whack off

also see:

  • have a crack (whack) at
  • out of kilter (whack)
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The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.