9 Grammatical Pitfalls


[wahyp] /waɪp/
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.).
  1. to apply (solder in a semifluid state) by spreading with leather or cloth over the part to be soldered.
  2. 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,
  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
4. erase, eradicate, banish. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for wiping
  • And then he decimated them, wiping out the databases with the ease of an arsonist flicking a match.
  • Its spores ride the wind, wiping out wheat crops and breaching our best defenses.
  • Prove what a big macho jerkoff you are by wiping out every other living thing.
  • No doubt humans are responsible for wiping out other species from their habitats.
  • Allocate research funds and time on viruses that are already wiping out species.
  • Unless you are planning on wiping out large populations on purpose, which seems to be as deadly as climate change anyway.
  • The climate crisis is bit by bit wiping out habitat for humans and other species.
  • He thanked his teammates, rubbing his chin three times and wiping his eyes.
  • She hikes up her evening gown, gets in a small boat and leaves, wiping away tears.
  • His neglected business affairs collapsed, pauperizing him and wiping out investments by many friends and relatives.
British Dictionary definitions for wiping


verb (transitive)
to rub (a surface or object) lightly, esp with (a cloth, hand, etc), as in removing dust, water, grime, etc
usually foll by off, away, from, up, etc. to remove by or as if by rubbing lightly: he wiped the dirt from his hands
to eradicate or cancel (a thought, memory, etc)
to erase a recording from (an audio or video tape)
(Austral, informal) to abandon or reject (a person)
to apply (oil, grease, etc) by wiping
to form (a joint between two lead pipes) with solder or soft lead
(informal) wipe the floor with someone, to defeat someone decisively
the act or an instance of wiping
(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
(dialect) a sweeping blow or stroke
(Brit, dialect) a gibe or jeer
(obsolete) a slang name for handkerchief
Word Origin
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
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Word Origin and History for wiping



Old English wipan, from Proto-Germanic *wipanan (cf. Danish vippe, Middle Dutch, Dutch vippen, Old High German wifan "to swing"), from PIE *weip- "to turn, vacillate, tremble" (cf. Latin vibrare "to shake;" see vibrate).


"disposable absorbent tissue," 1971, from wipe (v.).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Slang definitions & phrases for wiping

win out

verb phrase

To win; prevail: De Bird of Time will win out in a walk (1896+)

The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
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Idioms and Phrases with wiping
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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