Definition of whack-a-mole in English:



North American
  • 1An arcade game in which players use a mallet to hit toy moles, which appear at random, back into their holes.

    ‘next time you are near a kiddie amusement park, go in and play a round of whack-a-mole’
    • ‘Meredith and I went to go play 'Whack-A-Mole' together, while Larkin went to get more tokens and Evan went to go talk to some guys from school.’
    • ‘Gator Panic wasn't even a proper arcade game, but actually a redemption game much like Whack-a-Mole.’
    • ‘Not that I love hanging crepe but the next time you are near a kiddie amusement park, go in and play a round of Whack-a-Mole.’
    • ‘It not only offers unmatched productivity, but the very best in light entertainment as well, including skee-ball, whack-a-mole and 3D virtual lawn bowling!’
    • ‘The game we chose was a variant of Whack-A-Mole, a classic carnival game.’
    1. 1.1Used with reference to a situation in which attempts to solve a problem are piecemeal or superficial, resulting only in temporary or minor improvement.
      ‘the site's security team has an ongoing battle against spammers, but it's a game of whack-a-mole’
      • ‘The solution is to make either the browser or the application support the standards better, not to play whack-a-mole with each other trying to match features.’
      • ‘If the music industry is really concerned with protecting their investments, they could quit wasting their time with endless games of whack-a-mole (go after Napster, Audiogalaxy pops up, go after Audiogalaxy, hello Kazaa and so on).’
      • ‘History has proven over and over that chasing spam this way doesn't work because it's a never ending game of whack-a-mole that never gets anywhere.’
      • ‘Most projects take a hybrid approach, mapping all comparable or easily translatable APIs, re-architecting where it doesn't slow things down and playing Whack-a-Mole with the remaining code until it builds and runs.’
      • ‘Once I'm done playing whack-a-mole on the hype surrounding this issue, and we complete some other tests, I'll publish what we've found.’
      • ‘I write about politics mostly because I think it's important to do so, but there are many things that are more enjoyable and ennobling than watching the two major political parties play Whack-A-Mole with one another.’
      • ‘It was further suggested that money managers would become more important, because retail investors would not be able to play whack-a-mole (my term, not his).’
      • ‘If you do get into cover the shootouts that follow are pure digital whack-a-mole.’
      • ‘We work directly together playing whack-a-mole with their administrative problems.’
      • ‘Well these guys believe in whack-a-mole.’