wipe out


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.
Also, wipe-out.

1920–25; noun use of verb phrase wipe out

Dictionary.com Unabridged


verb (used with object), wiped, wiping.
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.
to rub or draw (something) over a surface, as in cleaning or drying.
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.
to remove as if by rubbing (usually followed by away, off, etc.): Wipe that smile off your face!
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 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.
Machinery. (of a rotating shaft or the like) to melt the brasses of (a bearing) through friction.
Australian Slang. to refuse to have anything to do with; reject; dismiss.
an act of wiping: He gave a few quick wipes to the furniture.
a rub, as of one thing over another.
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.
a piece of absorbent material, as of paper or cloth, used for wiping.
a sweeping stroke or blow.
a gibe.
Machinery, wiper ( def 5 ).
Slang. a handkerchief.
Verb phrases
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.
wipe up, to clean completely by wiping: to wipe up the mess on the floor.

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

4. erase, eradicate, banish.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
wipe (waɪp)
vb (usually foll by off, away, from, up, etc)
1.  to rub (a surface or object) lightly, esp with (a cloth, hand, etc), as in removing dust, water, grime, etc
2.  to remove by or as if by rubbing lightly: he wiped the dirt from his hands
3.  to eradicate or cancel (a thought, memory, etc)
4.  to erase a recording from (an audio or video tape)
5.  informal (Austral) to abandon or reject (a person)
6.  to apply (oil, grease, etc) by wiping
7.  to form (a joint between two lead pipes) with solder or soft lead
8.  informal wipe the floor with someone to defeat someone decisively
9.  the act or an instance of wiping
10.  (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
11.  dialect a sweeping blow or stroke
12.  dialect (Brit) a gibe or jeer
13.  obsolete a slang name for handkerchief
[Old English wīpian, related to Middle Low German wīpen, wīp bundle (of cloth), Old High German wīffa, wīfan to wind, Gothic weipan to wreathe]

wipe out
1.  (tr) to destroy completely; eradicate
2.  informal (tr) to murder or kill
3.  (intr) to fall or jump off a surfboard or skateboard
4.  an act or instance of wiping out
5.  the interference of one radio signal by another so that reception is impossible

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
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Word Origin & History

O.E. wipan, from P.Gmc. *wipanan (cf. Dan. vippe, M.Du., Du. vippen, O.H.G. wifan "to swing"), from PIE *weip- "to turn, vacillate, tremble" (cf. L. vibrare "to shake;" see vibrate). The noun meaning "disposable absorbent tissue" is attested from 1971. Surfer slang produced
wipeout (1962); sense of "destruction, defeat, a killing" is recorded from 1968.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Slang Dictionary

wipe definition

  1. n.
    a murder; a killing. (Underworld. See also wipe out.) : The victim of the latest mob wipe was hauled out of the river this morning.
Dictionary of American Slang and Colloquial Expressions by Richard A. Spears.Fourth Edition.
Copyright 2007. Published by McGraw-Hill Education.
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wipe out definition

  1. in.
    to crash. : The car wiped out on the curve.
  2. in.
    to fall off or away from something, such as a bicycle, skates, a surfboard, a skateboard, etc. : I wiped out and skinned my knee.
  3. n.
    [ˈwɑɪpɑʊt]a wreck. (Usually wipe-out.) : There was a four-car wipe-out on the expressway when I came in this morning.
  4. n.
    an accident on a bicycle, skates, surfboard, skateboard, etc. (Usually wipe-out.) : I had a nasty wipe-out, but I only bruised my elbow.
  5. n.
    a loser; someone who is likely to wipe out. (Usually wipe-out.) : The guy's a wipe-out, for sure.
Dictionary of American Slang and Colloquial Expressions by Richard A. Spears.Fourth Edition.
Copyright 2007. Published by McGraw-Hill Education.
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wipe (sth) out definition

  1. tv.
    to use up all of something. (See also wiped (out).) : I wiped the cookies out—not all at once, of course.
Dictionary of American Slang and Colloquial Expressions by Richard A. Spears.Fourth Edition.
Copyright 2007. Published by McGraw-Hill Education.
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American Heritage
Idioms & Phrases

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]

The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer.
Copyright © 1997. Published by Houghton Mifflin.
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