Definition of whiplash in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˈ(h)wipˌlaSH/


1 [usually in singular] The lashing action of a whip: figurative he cringed before the icy whiplash of Curtis’s tongue
1.1The flexible part of a whip or something resembling it.
2Injury caused by a severe jerk to the head, typically in a motor-vehicle accident.
Example sentences
  • A paramedic was taken to hospital suffering from whiplash when his ambulance hit the ‘intelligent’ rising bollard in Stonebow.
  • Mrs Townsend, 58, received severe whiplash and other injuries in the accident last July while driving a delivery van for Cafco Automotive, New Milton.
  • The central focus of the book relates to the author's work with motor vehicle accident victims suffering with whiplash and post-concussion syndrome.


[with object]
1Jerk or jolt (someone or something) suddenly, typically so as to cause injury: the force of impact had whiplashed the man’s head
More example sentences
  • When back-to-back hurricanes whiplashed the African island nation of Madagascar in February and March of 2000, Karen Freudenberger thought the Fianarantsoa Côte Est railroad may have reached the end of its line.
  • The listener is then whiplashed into a wall of Nirvana-esque fuzz guitar that begs to be moshed to.
  • Imagine coming down with 260 pounds on your shoulders, and I'm following it with the momentum, and whiplashing myself down into him.
1.1 [no object] Move suddenly and forcefully, like a whip being cracked: he rammed the yacht, sending its necklace of lights whiplashing from the bridge
More example sentences
  • Finally, amethyst light whiplashed around the two of them, preventing them from moving.
  • Strands of the light whiplashed round the mindscape, and the blue flame recoiled.
  • Kate's head whiplashed to the left as her body went right.

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: whip·lash

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