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Word of the Day
Saturday, February 23, 2013

Definitions for whipsaw

  1. to subject to two opposing forces at the same time: The real-estate market has been whipsawed by high interest rates and unemployment.
  2. to cut with a whipsaw.
  3. to win two bets from (a person) at one turn or play, as at faro.

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Citations for whipsaw
The hour was past midnight; rumor and slander continued to whipsaw the throng. Steven Pressfield, Last of the Amazons
Carter's human rights policies were thus whipsawed between moral and strategic considerations, as well as between different parts of the bureaucracy. Walter LaFeber, Inevitable Revolutions
Origin of whipsaw
Whipsaw entered into wide usage in the 1530s from a portmanteau combination of "whip" and "saw." "Whip" is derived from the Proto Germanic wippen meaning "to flap violently." "Saw" is derived from the Old English sagu referring to a cutting tool.