• synonyms


[hwip-saw, wip-]
  1. a saw for two persons, as a pitsaw, used to divide timbers lengthwise.
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verb (used with object), whip·sawed, whip·sawed or whip·sawn, whip·saw·ing.
  1. to cut with a whipsaw.
  2. to win two bets from (a person) at one turn or play, as at faro.
  3. to subject to two opposing forces at the same time: The real-estate market has been whipsawed by high interest rates and unemployment.
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verb (used without object), whip·sawed, whip·sawed or whip·sawn, whip·saw·ing.
  1. (of a trailer, railroad car, etc.) to swing suddenly to the right or left, as in rounding a sharp curve at high speed.
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Origin of whipsaw

First recorded in 1530–40; whip + saw1
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for whipsaw

Contemporary Examples of whipsaw

Historical Examples of whipsaw

  • And I think he's going to whipsaw the market to a standstill this time, for sure.

    The Spenders

    Harry Leon Wilson

  • The boards we used in the building had to be sawed by us two slaves with a whipsaw.

    Biography of a Slave

    Charles Thompson

  • We sawed our boards with the whipsaw, and made our shingles out of the ash-trees.

    Mary and I

    Stephen Return Riggs

  • Spread this in as many pool-rooms as you can; get it all down on Whipsaw.

    Young Wallingford

    George Randolph Chester

  • At the quarter, three horses drew into the lead, Whipsaw just behind them.

    Young Wallingford

    George Randolph Chester

British Dictionary definitions for whipsaw


  1. any saw with a flexible blade, such as a bandsaw
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verb -saws, -sawing, -sawed, -sawed or -sawn (tr)
  1. to saw with a whipsaw
  2. US to defeat in two ways at once
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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