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From Middle English whippen, wippen (to flap violently), from Middle Dutch wippen (to swing, leap, dance, oscillate) and Middle Low German wippen (to move quickly), from Proto-Germanic *wipjaną (to move back and forth). Some similarity to Sanskrit root वेप् (vep, shake, flourish), Latin vibrō (I shake). (See Swedish vippa and Danish vippe (to shake)).


  • enPR: wĭp, IPA(key): /wɪp/
  • Rhymes: -ɪp
  • (file)
  • enPR: hwĭp, IPA(key): /ʍɪp/


whip (plural whips)

  1. A lash; a pliant, flexible instrument, such as a rod (commonly of cane or rattan) or a plaited or braided rope or thong (commonly of leather) used to create a sharp "crack" sound for directing or herding animals.
    I had to use the whip to get the sheep's attention.
    1. The same instrument used to strike a person or animal for corporal punishment or torture.
      Once he ran out of appeals, he knew he would soon feel the sting of the whip.
  2. A blow administered with a whip.
    • 1832, The Atheneum (volume 31, page 493)
      I had hardly said the word, when Kit jumped into the saddle, and gave his horse a whip and a spur — and off it cantered, as if it were in as great a hurry to be married as Kit himself.
  3. (hunting) A whipper-in.
    • 1928, Siegfried Sassoon, Memoirs of a Fox-Hunting Man, Penguin 2013, p. 27:
      From the far side of the wood came the long shrill screech [] which signifies that one of the whips has viewed the fox quitting the covert.
  4. (politics) A member of a political party who is in charge of enforcing the party's policies in votes.
    I was going to vote against the bill, but the party whip came to see me and made it clear I needed to vote for it.
  5. (UK politics, with definite article) A document distributed weekly to MPs by party whips informing them of upcoming votes in parliament.
  6. Whipped cream.
    Did you want to add some whip to your coffee, ma'am?
  7. (nautical) A purchase in which one block is used to gain a 2:1 mechanical advantage.
  8. (African American Vernacular) A mode of personal motorized transportation; an automobile, all makes and models including motorcycles, excluding public transportation.
    • 2017, Stormzy, Return of the Rucksack
      Big whip I'm underground parking
    Come on, let's take my whip so we can get there in time.
  9. (roller derby) A move in which one player transfers momentum to another.
  10. A whipping motion; a thrashing about.
    I was startled by the whip of the rope when it finally snapped.
  11. The quality of being whiplike or flexible; suppleness, as of the shaft of a golf club.
  12. Any of various pieces that operate with a quick vibratory motion
    1. A spring in certain electrical devices for making a circuit
    2. (music) A wippen, a rocking component in certain piano actions.
  13. (historical) A coach driver; a coachman.



Derived termsEdit

Related termsEdit



whip (third-person singular simple present whips, present participle whipping, simple past and past participle whipped)

  1. (transitive) To hit with a whip.
    The rider whipped the horse.
  2. (transitive, by extension) To hit with any flexible object.
    I whipped her with a newspaper.
  3. (transitive, slang) To defeat, as in a contest or game.
    • 2008, Edward Keating, The Joy of Ex: A Novel
      She whips me in the first game of pool, I do not even get a shot. Eight-balled from the break.
  4. (transitive) To mix in a rapid aerating fashion, especially food.
    to whip eggs or cream
  5. (transitive) To urge into action or obedience.
    He whipped the department into shape.
  6. (transitive, politics) To enforce a member voting in accordance with party policy.
  7. (transitive, nautical) To bind the end of a rope with twine or other small stuff to prevent its unlaying: fraying or unravelling.
    • Moxon
      Its string is firmly whipped about with small gut.
  8. (transitive, nautical) To hoist or purchase by means of a whip.
  9. To sew lightly; specifically, to form (a fabric) into gathers by loosely overcasting the rolled edge and drawing up the thread.
    to whip a ruffle
    • John Gay
      In half-whipped muslin needles useless lie.
  10. (transitive) To throw or kick an object at a high velocity.
    • He whipped the ball at me.
    • 2010 December 29, Chris Whyatt, “Chelsea 1 - 0 Bolton”, in BBC[1]:
      Composed play then saw Sam Ricketts nutmeg Ashley Cole before Taylor whipped a fine curling effort over Petr Cech's bar.
  11. (transitive, intransitive) To fish a body of water especially by making repeated casts.
    • Emerson
      whipping their rough surface for a trout
  12. (intransitive) To snap back and forth like a whip.
    The pennants whipped in the wind.
  13. (intransitive) To move very fast.
    The wind whipped through the valley.
    • L'Estrange
      Two friends, travelling, met a bear upon the way; the one whips up a tree, and the other throws himself flat upon the ground.
    • 1886, Robert Louis Stevenson, Strange Case Of Dr Jekyll And Mr Hyde
      He looked up when I came in, gave a kind of cry, and whipped upstairs into the cabinet. It was but for one minute that I saw him, but the hair stood upon my head like quills.
  14. (transitive) To move (something) very fast; often with up, out, etc.
    • L'Estrange
      She, in a hurry, whips up her darling under her arm.
    • Walpole
      He whips out his pocketbook every moment, and writes descriptions of everything he sees.
  15. (transitive, roller derby) To transfer momentum from one skater to another.
  16. (figuratively) To lash with sarcasm, abuse, etc.
    • Shakespeare
      They would whip me with their fine wits.
  17. To thrash; to beat out, as grain, by striking.
    to whip wheat


The terms below need to be checked and allocated to the definitions (senses) of the headword above. Each term should appear in the sense for which it is appropriate. Use the templates {{syn|en|...}} or {{ant|en|...}} to add them to the appropriate sense(s).

Derived termsEdit

Terms derived from whip (verb)


The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables, removing any numbers. Numbers do not necessarily match those in definitions. See instructions at Wiktionary:Entry layout#Translations.

See alsoEdit


  • Samuel Johnson, John Walker, Robert S. Jameson: 1828. A dictionary of the English language 2nd edition. Publisher: William Pickering, 1828. 831 pages. Page 818. Google Public Domain Books : [2]

Further readingEdit

  • whip in The Century Dictionary, The Century Co., New York, 1911
  • whip at OneLook Dictionary Search