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Uncertain. Originally Scottish. Probably onomatopoeic, although possibly a variant of thwack.



whack ‎(plural whacks)

  1. The sound of a heavy strike.
  2. The strike itself.
  3. The stroke itself, regardless of its successful impact.
  4. (US) An attempt, a chance, a turn, a go, originally an attempt to beat someone or something.
    C'mon. Take a whack at it.
    40 bucks a whack.
  5. (originally Britain cant, dated) A share, a portion, especially a full share or large portion.
    • 1951, Katherine Mansfield, Letters to John Middleton Murry, 1913-1922,
      For one thing I had a splendid supper when I got on board—a whack of cold, lean beef and pighells, bread, butter ad lib., tea, and plenty of good bread.
  6. (obsolete) A whack-up: a division of an amount into separate whacks, a divvying up.
  7. (US, obsolete) A deal, an agreement.
    • 1876, Mark Twain, The Adventures of Tom Sawyer, Ch. vi, p. 70:
      "I'll stay if you will."
      "Good—that's a whack."
    It's a whack!
  8. (computing, slang) Alternative term for backslash ⟨ \ ⟩.
    del c:\WINDOWS\system32
    Delete c colon whack Windows whack system32.

Derived terms[edit]



whack ‎(third-person singular simple present whacks, present participle whacking, simple past and past participle whacked)

  1. To hit, slap or strike.
    • G. W. Cable
      Rodsmen were whacking their way through willow brakes.
  2. (slang) To kill, bump off.
  3. (transitive, slang) To share or parcel out; often with up.
    to whack the spoils of a robbery
  4. (sports) To beat convincingly; to thrash.
    • 2012, Ryan Pyette, Majors, Panthers play mind games, The London Free Press:
      The fidgety Majors were whacked 9-1 by the Kitchener Panthers at Couch and now trail their rivals 2-0 in an increasingly uncomfortable best-of-seven Intercounty Baseball League first-round series.
  5. (Britain, usually in the negative) To surpass; to better.
    • 2012, Steve Cullen, Total Flyfisher:
      Recently I was over in Ireland, I love the place, proper fishing, can't whack it!



Derived terms[edit]


whack ‎(comparative whacker, superlative whackest)

  1. Alternative form of wack ‎(crazy)
    That's whack, yo!
    • 2007, Joyce E. Davis, Can't Stop The Shine, page 51:
      As they joked about the big butts on female celebrities and what rappers had the whackest lyrics, Malcolm paid little attention to Kalia besides squeezing her hand or grabbing her arm to hold himself up []


  • Oxford English Dictionary, 1st ed. "whack, n." Oxford University Press (Oxford), 1923.