or W.I.P.

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work in process.
work in progress.
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Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2022


What does WIP mean?

Wip is a common misspelling of whip. As an abbreviation, WIP most commonly means “work in progress” or “work in process.”

WIP is often used on social media to indicate that one is presenting unfinished artwork. In this case, it is often left uncapitalized (wip) or used as a hashtag (#wip or #WIP). In other contexts, it is sometimes spelled with periods: W.I.P. 

Example: This drawing is a WIP—it’ll look better when it’s done!

Where does WIP come from?

WIP has been used as an abbreviation for “work in progress” since at least the 1960s. Since it is often pronounced as a word (whip), it is considered an acronym.

For something unfinished to be labeled as a WIP, it usually has to be a project of some kind: a novel, musical album, art project, business proposal, garment, app, and so on. (You wouldn’t call a half-eaten doughnut a work in progress, unless you were trying to be funny.)

The person working on the WIP typically has the intention of finishing it. However, calling something a WIP usually means it will be finished over a course of time—that is, it’s often unknown when it will be finished.

In technical manufacturing terms, WIPs are in the stage between raw materials and finished goods. (Yes, it would be more precise to say WsIP, but no one has time for that, especially with all these projects that need finishing!)

As an acronym, WIP has many other meanings, like “Wireless Internet Protocol,” but none are nearly as common as “work in progress” or “work in process.”

Did you know ... ?

What are some other forms of WIP?

  • W.I.P. (alternate acronym spelling)

What are some synonyms for WIP?

  • work in progress
  • work in process
  • unfinished project

What are some words that share a root or word element with WIP


What are some words that often get used in discussing WIP?

What are some words WIP may be commonly confused with?

How is WIP used in real life?

WIP is commonly used online to mean “work in progress” when presenting or discussing artistic work that’s not done yet.



Try using WIP?

Which of the following things would the acronym WIP most likely be applied to?

A. a half-eaten sandwich
B. a school art project that still needs to be painted
C. a completely finished and published software program

How to use WIP in a sentence