Definition of whack in English:

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Pronunciation: /(h)wak/


[with object]
1Strike forcefully with a sharp blow: his attacker whacked him on the head [no object]: she found a stick to whack at the branches
More example sentences
  • Players use their own clubs to whack at the golf ball, which swings around and lands in the net.
  • So I finally got my sharp arts-and-crafts scissors and whacked a good few inches off, and now it comes to just below my chin.
  • He and Gin found a perfect tree and began to whack at it with their axes.
1.1North American Murder: he was whacked while sitting in his car
More example sentences
  • The ‘Ice-Pick Murderer’ had whacked anyone Kay asked him to and hurt anyone else that he hadn't managed to kill.
  • For those of you keeping score, this is the casino boat company in which one of Abramoff's co-owners was later whacked in a gangland style hit after the things started to go South.


1A sharp or resounding blow.
Example sentences
  • Our teachers are very supportive. If by chance we start dreaming in class, we get a sharp whack on our knuckles to bring us back to the real world.
  • For dogs of moderate aggressiveness, a sharp whack on the snout with a drumstick is usually enough.
  • Resounding whack between his shoulder blades, which had him choking on his mouthful of beer.
2A try or attempt: we decided to take a whack at spotting the decade’s trends
More example sentences
  • I guess to be fair, I should take a whack at it myself.
  • I thought you and your readers might take a whack at something that has always nagged at me.
  • I'll just loosen my girdle and take a whack at it.
3British A specified share of or contribution to something: motorists pay a fair whack for the use of the roads through taxes
More example sentences
  • He simply made a whack of money selling shares in Iona.
  • There should still be a fair whack of private equity cash left over for young, high-growth companies - particularly those that have got past the initial investment stage.
  • They saw it as a pot of money, so all they had to do was nominate some centres that they might call growth centres, and they'd get a whack of money out of the Federal government.



at a (or one) whack

informal At one time: he built twenty houses at one whack
More example sentences
  • I am on board the U.S. Coast Guard icebreaker Polar Star as it back-and-rams the frozen ocean to open up a fourteen-mile-long channel into McMurdo Station, fifty feet at a whack.
  • The basic premise was that we would commence with a 24-inch barrel, test for accuracy and velocity, and then shorten it two inches at a whack before repeating our testing.
  • Unfortunately we're stuck on hold for 5 minutes at a whack because these sites aren't on the allowed list.

out of whack

North American & Australian/New Zealand informal Out of order; not working: all their calculations were out of whack
More example sentences
  • When he's not, the batting order is thrown out of whack, with hitters moved into slots they are not suited to.
  • I did some revisions and ended up removing two or so chapters and throwing the whole order out of whack.
  • We turn down quite a few invitations here at the Diary to enter journalism awards simply because we are totally out of whack with the subject matter.

Phrasal verbs

whack off

vulgar slang Masturbate.


Early 18th century: imitative, or perhaps an alteration of thwack.

Words that rhyme with whack

aback, alack, attack, back, black, brack, clack, claque, crack, Dirac, drack, flack, flak, hack, jack, Kazakh, knack, lack, lakh, mac, mach, Nagorno-Karabakh, pack, pitchblack, plaque, quack, rack, sac, sack, shack, shellac, slack, smack, snack, stack, tach, tack, thwack, track, vac, wack, wrack, yak, Zack

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: whack

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