Definition of whack in English:



  • 1[with object] Strike forcefully with a sharp blow:

    ‘his attacker whacked him on the head’
    [no object] ‘she found a stick to whack at the branches’
    • ‘Other acts have included a helicopter dangling a cheeseburger in front of him, people whacking him with golf balls and drunken revelers pelting him with eggs.’
    • ‘During that time, Nebulon continued to whack the small, pink rubber ball against the wooden paddle.’
    • ‘One of them was carrying a ratchet bar and he whacked me over the back of the head.’
    • ‘She whacks him across the face again, and his head cracks as he hits the floor, harder than last time.’
    • ‘I turned around, and when I was turning I saw just someone was running by me, and he just, like, whacked me with this long black stick.’
    • ‘At my first weekly hourlong lesson last spring, English watched me whack a hundred balls over the net, then suggested that we radically overhaul my form to enhance my chi.’
    • ‘A Striker loose from the pack moved in and whacked her with the blunt end of her spear.’
    • ‘As a rule of thumb you should whack at least two feet from a nine-footer, more from a longer board.’
    • ‘So I finally got my sharp arts-and-crafts scissors and whacked a good few inches off, and now it comes to just below my chin.’
    • ‘‘Just do it’ I beg before another one whacks me and I'm back on the floor.’
    • ‘A player named Jesse is lamenting the work he put into his character last year, only to have been whacked out of the game inside of 10 minutes by an overeager combatant.’
    • ‘He and Gin found a perfect tree and began to whack at it with their axes.’
    • ‘Anybody who gets their purse stolen, whacked by their spouse or smacked in a bar should raise a toast to bad drivers starting July 1.’
    • ‘Soon enough, the court discovers her boss has presented falsified evidence, and he's whacked by the thugs for blowing the case.’
    • ‘She thrashed around wildly and whacked me on the side of the head.’
    • ‘He was so annoying with that every now and then, Candice just wanted to ball up her fist, and whack him one, real hard.’
    • ‘Then after she's whacked some other blonde child her mother grabbed her and slapped her backside.’
    • ‘A kind of Pinocchio sans magic, Petrushka dies a banal non-death, getting whacked by a blow to his empty head.’
    • ‘Still, it was have been nice to have whacked him upside the head with a two-by-four, but that would have been wrong.’
    • ‘Players use their own clubs to whack at the golf ball, which swings around and lands in the net.’
    hit, beat, strike, punch, knock, rap, smack, slap, thump, thwack, crack, cudgel, thrash, bang, drub, welt, cuff, buffet, pummel, box someone's ears
    bash, clobber, clout, clip, wallop, belt, tan, biff, bop, lay into, pitch into, lace into, let someone have it, knock into the middle of next week, sock, lam, whomp
    stick one on, slosh
    boff, bust, slug, light into, whale
    dong, quilt
    smite, swinge
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1 Defeat in a contest:
      [with object and complement] ‘the team were whacked six-nil’
      • ‘People have a spring in their step, are laughing and chatting, buoyed up with the knowledge that their team whacked Glenn Hoddle's Tottenham Hotspur between the eyes twice last week.’
      • ‘Darren Horsefield netted five times as Ouseburn Utd whacked Stillington 8-1.’
      • ‘The work paid off when Butcher crept back in the England team for the 2001 Ashes series, then whacked the greatest team in cricket around Headingley for 173 unbeaten runs.’
      • ‘On the following week Dundalk came to Kilcohan Park to be whacked 5-1 with Afie Hale recording a hat-trick and John O'Neill getting two more.’
      • ‘In the last federal election John Reynolds whacked his No-Name Liberal candidate in West Vancouver-Sunshine Coast by a margin of more than 10,000.’
    2. 1.2[with object and adverbial] Put or push (something) roughly or carelessly in a specified place or direction:
      ‘he whacks a tape into the cassette recorder’
      • ‘He also whacked a shot for which Marshall stretched to push on to the crossbar, although referee Doug Somers missed the contact and failed to award a corner kick.’
      • ‘A Hearts move broke down when Marshall scooped up a cross, and the goalkeeper saw space at the other end of the field and whacked a clearance for Craig Dargo.’
      • ‘I pushed it onto the floor and whacked it (both in the literal and in the Mafia sense) with a piece of cardboard.’
    3. 1.3North American Murder:
      ‘he was whacked while sitting in his car’
      • ‘The ‘Ice-Pick Murderer’ had whacked anyone Kay asked him to and hurt anyone else that he hadn't managed to kill.’
      • ‘For those of you keeping score, this is the casino boat company in which one of Abramoff's co-owners was later whacked in a gangland style hit after the things started to go South.’


  • 1A sharp or resounding blow:

    ‘with a few whacks and some loud whistles, they drove the animals away’
    • ‘He reached out and gave the statue a tentative whack on the side, then a series of harder slaps.’
    • ‘Give the smelly kid (I'm talking about those above 6 yrs old) a whack on the head with a giant pikachu toy and he will know better than to challenge u in future.’
    • ‘He probably had a couple whacks with something, a tire iron or a bowling trophy.’
    • ‘For dogs of moderate aggressiveness, a sharp whack on the snout with a drumstick is usually enough.’
    • ‘My mother often plucked me from unexpected places all over the palace and escorted me back to my room with a sharp tongue and a good whack on the ear.’
    • ‘In 2003, we are sometimes told by the die-hard teachers of another time that moral fibre was introduced into the pupils' constitutions by a crack across the head or a whack with a cane.’
    • ‘Skipper Jim Bentley was forced off after taking a whack in the face in a clash of heads, while David Perkins also took a kick on the leg.’
    • ‘Steven watched them walk away until he felt a sudden sharp whack in the shin.’
    • ‘So I held the shot glass under the hot water tap and then gave it a smart whack on the counter top.’
    • ‘After returning from his job as a writer for the American Civil Liberties Union one evening this spring, William Potter grabbed an iron pry bar and, with a few whacks, demolished the kitchen of his Petworth rowhouse.’
    • ‘It chilled the blood to see a 30-year-old schoolteacher, John Petersen, administer whacks of the cane with two goals in the first 13 minutes.’
    • ‘Resounding whack between his shoulder blades, which had him choking on his mouthful of beer.’
    • ‘It took a total of around 25 whacks before it regained its colour again.’
    • ‘You have to have a surprised face for each one you receive or you'll get a smack in the ear or a whack on the side of your head or one with da wooden spoon on your arm.’
    • ‘Our teachers are very supportive. If by chance we start dreaming in class, we get a sharp whack on our knuckles to bring us back to the real world.’
    • ‘After it was over, Gladstone noted to Aberdeen that the vote ‘not only knocked us down but sent us down with such a whack, that one heard one's head thump as it struck the ground.’’
    • ‘Her answer: ‘Oh, probably a whack on the head with a club.’’
    • ‘Philosophically speaking, here on Earth, when we want to know what's inside a rock, we take a hammer and give it a whack.’
    • ‘Hearing the loud whack, he began to pound fist after fist, continuing long after his hands became white and tingly.’
    • ‘The vision of what we're trying to get is go out and give the hornets nest a few whacks and get them all out in the open and have it out with them once and for all.’
    blow, hit, punch, thump, thwack, crack, smack, slap, bang, welt, cuff, box
    View synonyms
  • 2A try or attempt:

    ‘we decided to take a whack at spotting the decade's trends’
    • ‘We can take a firm whack at these books that warrant coverage and, together, we can ensure that this heinous backlog is, to some small degree, abated.’
    • ‘I have decided to let the indomitable Mr. Bonnet take a whack at responding to your reviews this week.’
    • ‘I guess to be fair, I should take a whack at it myself.’
    • ‘I thought you and your readers might take a whack at something that has always nagged at me.’
    • ‘The interest developed, as did the desire to feel the racket, have a whack, and get thrilled over the effect of the effort.’
    • ‘I'll just loosen my girdle and take a whack at it.’
    • ‘Both our Video Game Editors would take a whack at the game, but they would draw straws as to who covered what.’
  • 3British A specified share of or contribution to something:

    ‘motorists pay a fair whack for the use of the roads through taxes’
    • ‘A hefty whack when you were only earning 48 weekly.’
    • ‘He simply made a whack of money selling shares in Iona.’
    • ‘They saw it as a pot of money, so all they had to do was nominate some centres that they might call growth centres, and they'd get a whack of money out of the Federal government.’
    • ‘I was told I could take this whack of money or I could go back to subbing features.’
    • ‘There should still be a fair whack of private equity cash left over for young, high-growth companies - particularly those that have got past the initial investment stage.’
    • ‘With any likelihood, half the money will probably come from abroad, but we'll need a big whack of Hollywood money.’
    portion, part, division, bit, quota, allowance, ration, allocation, allotment, lot, measure, due
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  • 4North American A large quantity or amount.

    share, quota, portion, slice, part, allocation, ration, allowance, allotment, amount, quantity, bit, piece, percentage, proportion, section, segment, division, fraction, measure, due
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  • out of whack

    • Out of order; not working:

      ‘all their calculations were out of whack’
      • ‘Tomorrow we are definitely doing the routine thing - both of us are out of whack with the clock, and need rest.’
      • ‘Although Hugo's routine has been a little out of whack, I'm sticking to our routine in the hopes it'll pan out.’
      • ‘As the system aged, exchange rates grew progressively out of whack.’
      • ‘If the amount of the reporting is out of whack with the reality of the threats, then one place to begin is by better matching the former to the latter.’
      • ‘These equations always seem to be out of whack, but it takes time to withdraw from the hungry ghosts within and give more to the right people.’
      • ‘I did some revisions and ended up removing two or so chapters and throwing the whole order out of whack.’
      • ‘When he's not, the batting order is thrown out of whack, with hitters moved into slots they are not suited to.’
      • ‘We turn down quite a few invitations here at the Diary to enter journalism awards simply because we are totally out of whack with the subject matter.’
      • ‘So financial experts are warning holiday impulse buying can end up throwing your carefully planned budget out of whack.’
      • ‘Something, or somebody, is always out of whack or out of commission.’
      out of order, not working, not in working order, not functioning, broken, broken-down, out of commission, acting up, unserviceable, faulty, defective, non-functional, inoperative, in disrepair
      View synonyms
  • top (or full) whack

    • The maximum price or rate:

      ‘the car has a top whack of 107 mph’
      • ‘Impatient studios adamant on a simultaneous release, or something close to it, pay top whack to complete dubbing and subtitling quickly, and are unable to recycle prints as they did in the past.’
      • ‘I've never seen that guy give anything less than his full whack for Celtic Football Club.’
      • ‘Although this remains the case in Scotland, councils in England can now charge up to 90% of the full rate, while councils in Wales can levy the full whack.’
      • ‘They do this by passing on the full whack to borrowers, but only slightly increasing their savings rates.’
      • ‘This product is fiendishly difficult for consumers to understand and value, so dealers charge top whack for it!’
      • ‘It helps me always to keep in mind, for example, a nurse doing long hours in an intensive care ward, and paying her full whack of tax.’
      • ‘Why should people who drive cars over 2.7 metres in length have to pay the full whack?’
      • ‘But on a road, even a long one, even a long downhill one, 80 is your realistic top whack.’
      • ‘There's no point in being unrealistic and believing you can charge top whack for a so-so property.’
      • ‘After two years training at college and five years experience on the job you can get up to £14,000 a year top whack.’
      • ‘They charged me for the full whack, the bastards, and I never went back.’
      • ‘If you continue to have tax deducted at source by your Irish employer, don't worry as you won't have to pay the full whack of income tax in the UK.’
      • ‘The fact that a department has not spent its full whack within a given financial year doesn't mean that it cannot find a use for the cash in future.’
      • ‘I have adopted a valuation for the finished shell of £60,000 (which is top whack in my view).’
      • ‘Unless you're paying top whack, you will be unlikely to get a hotel right in the centre of the city and some of the economy deals put you in hotels a long way from the action.’
      • ‘At the end of the period you have to pay the full whack of the remainder.’
      • ‘They paid no attention whatsoever to the opera, so I hope they forked out full whack and regretted it.’
      • ‘I became bored so I turned up Amy's car stereo to full whack.’
      • ‘Asustek is best known for producing good products at top whack, but this leaves it vulnerable to lower-price, bigger volume rivals.’

Phrasal Verbs

  • whack off

    • Masturbate.


Early 18th century: imitative, or perhaps an alteration of thwack.