[whip-it, wip-]


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
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for whippet

Contemporary Examples of whippet

  • And she cared for him, along with a whippet named Jason, until she died at age 74 in 1995.

    The Daily Beast logo
    The World’s 12 Richest Dogs

    The Daily Beast

    June 18, 2010

  • Now the score is settled, the Big Dog can finally accept that the whippet is the winner.

    The Daily Beast logo
    Big Dog and the Whippet

    Tina Brown

    November 3, 2008

Historical Examples of whippet

  • 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.


    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

British Dictionary definitions for whippet



a small slender breed of dog similar to a greyhound in appearance

Word Origin for whippet

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

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