wipeout

or wipe-out

[ wahyp-out ]
/ ˈwaɪpˌaʊt /

noun

Informal. destruction, annihilation, or murder.
Informal. (in sports) a decisive defeat.
a fall from a surfboard.
Slang. a total or complete failure: to suffer a wipeout in the stock market.
Slang. complete physical exhaustion.

Nearby words

  1. wipe,
  2. wipe off the map,
  3. wipe out,
  4. wipe the slate clean,
  5. wiped-out,
  6. wiper,
  7. wipo,
  8. wiradjuri,
  9. wire,
  10. wire brush

Origin of wipeout

First recorded in 1920–25; noun use of verb phrase wipe out

wipe

[ wahyp ]
/ waɪp /

verb (used with object), wiped, wip·ing.

noun

Verb Phrases

wipe out,
  1. to destroy completely; demolish: The entire city was wiped out.
  2. Informal. to murder; kill: They wiped him out to keep him from testifying.
  3. Slang. to beat decisively, as in sports.
  4. Slang. (in sports) to be taken out of competition by a fall, accident, collision, etc.
  5. Slang. to intoxicate or cause to become high, especially on narcotic drugs.
wipe up, to clean completely by wiping: to wipe up the mess on the floor.

Origin of wipe

before 1000; Middle English (v.), 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

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


British Dictionary definitions for wipe out

wipe out

verb (adverb)

(tr) to destroy completely; eradicate
(tr) informal to murder or kill
(intr) to fall or jump off a surfboard or skateboard

noun wipeout

an act or instance of wiping out
the interference of one radio signal by another so that reception is impossible

wipe

/ (waɪp) /

verb (tr)

noun

Word Origin for 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

Word Origin and History for wipe out
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Idioms and Phrases with wipe out

wipe out

1

Destroy, as in The large chains are wiping out the independent bookstores. Originally put simply as wipe, the idiom acquired out in the first half of the 1800s.

2

Kill; also, murder. For example, The entire crew was wiped out in the plane crash, or The gangsters threatened to wipe him and his family out. [Late 1800s]

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.