[ wahyp ]
See synonyms for wipe on Thesaurus.com
verb (used with object),wiped, wip·ing.
  1. to rub lightly with or on a cloth, towel, paper, the hand, etc., in order to clean or dry the surface of: He wiped the furniture with a damp cloth.

  2. to rub or draw (something) over a surface, as in cleaning or drying.

  1. to remove by rubbing with or on something (usually followed by away, off, out, etc.): Wipe the dirt off your shoes. Wipe the dust from the pictures.

  2. to remove as if by rubbing (usually followed by away, off, etc.): Wipe that smile off your face!

  3. to erase, as from existence or memory (often followed by from): to wipe a thought from one's mind.

    • to erase (magnetic tape, a recording, etc.)

    • to delete the entire contents and settings of (a digital storage device, mobile device, etc.):She remotely wiped her computer after it was stolen.

  4. Plumbing.

    • to apply (solder in a semifluid state) by spreading with leather or cloth over the part to be soldered.

    • to form (a joint) in this manner.

  5. Machinery. (of a rotating shaft or the like) to melt the brasses of (a bearing) through friction.

  6. Australian Slang. to refuse to have anything to do with; reject; dismiss.

verb (used without object)
  1. (in a video game) to suffer a defeat in which all cooperative player characters in a group are killed: After hours in that dungeon, our group wiped and we had to start again from the beginning.

  1. an act of wiping: He gave a few quick wipes to the furniture.

  2. a rub, as of one thing over another.

  1. Also called wipe-off .Movies. a technique in film editing by which the projected image of a scene appears to be pushed or wiped off the screen by the image that follows.

  2. a piece of absorbent material, as of paper or cloth, used for wiping.

  3. a sweeping stroke or blow.

  4. a gibe.

  5. Machinery. wiper (def. 5).

  6. (in a video game) a defeat in which all cooperative player characters in a group are killed: a total party wipe.

  7. Slang. a handkerchief.

Verb Phrases
  1. wipe out,

    • to destroy completely; demolish: The entire city was wiped out.

    • Informal. to murder; kill: They wiped him out to keep him from testifying.

    • Slang. to beat decisively, as in sports.

    • Slang. (in sports) to be taken out of competition by a fall, accident, collision, etc.

    • Slang. to intoxicate or cause to become high, especially on narcotic drugs.

  2. wipe up, to clean completely by wiping: to wipe up the mess on the floor.

Origin of wipe

First recorded before 1000; Middle English wipen, Old English wīpian; cognate with Old High German wīfan “to wind round,” Gothic weipan “to crown”; perhaps akin to Latin vibrāre “to move to and fro”

Other words for wipe

Words Nearby wipe

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use wipe in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for wipe


/ (waɪp) /

  1. to rub (a surface or object) lightly, esp with (a cloth, hand, etc), as in removing dust, water, grime, etc

  2. (usually foll by off, away, from, up, etc) to remove by or as if by rubbing lightly: he wiped the dirt from his hands

  1. to eradicate or cancel (a thought, memory, etc)

  2. to erase a recording from (an audio or video tape)

  3. Australian informal to abandon or reject (a person)

  4. to apply (oil, grease, etc) by wiping

  5. to form (a joint between two lead pipes) with solder or soft lead

  6. wipe the floor with someone informal to defeat someone decisively

  1. the act or an instance of wiping

  2. (in film editing) an effect causing the transition from one scene to the next in which the image of the first scene appears to be wiped off the screen by that of the second

  1. dialect a sweeping blow or stroke

  2. British dialect a gibe or jeer

  3. obsolete a slang name for handkerchief

Origin of wipe

Old English wīpian, related to Middle Low German wīpen, wīp bundle (of cloth), Old High German wīffa, wīfan to wind, Gothic weipan to wreathe

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

Other Idioms and Phrases with wipe


In addition to the idioms beginning with wipe

  • wipe off the map
  • wipe out
  • wipe the slate clean

also see:

  • mop up (wipe) the floor with
  • settle (wipe out) an old score

The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.