Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Medical, Legal, Financial, Encyclopedia, Wikipedia.
1. adverb At the highest, fullest, or maximum capacity or effect. Our servers have been running full whack ever since we released our online multiplayer game.
2. noun The highest, fullest, or maximum amount, capacity, or effect. They had turned the stove on to full whack without telling us, and we ended up burning our roast. John always pays the full whack for the newest technology.
have a whack (at something)
To have a chance to try (doing something); to attempt to do or undertake (something). I can't get the lid off this jar for the life of me. Do you want to have a whack? I'm going to have a whack at doing my own taxes this year, to save on the cost of hiring an accountant. Let me have a whack at getting the car started.
1. Literally, an arcade game in which the player uses a small rubber mallet to hit robotic toy moles that pop up randomly in holes laid out across the surface of the machine. I love coming to this old arcade. I have a lot of fond memories playing whack-a-mole and skee ball here as a kid.
2. By extension, a situation in which problems continue to arise faster than one is able to solve or cope with them, resulting in piecemeal, incomplete, or temporary results. These dang pop-up ads are so annoying! It's a game of whack-a-mole every time I go online these days! Every time we think we have the software debugged, more problems show up. We've just been playing whack-a-mole from day one!
1. To send away; to force to retreat. Despite the connotation of "beat," this phrase is often used hyperbolically and does not have to reference violent action. Because their house is in such a great location, they have been beating off a lot of interested buyers. I somehow managed to beat off the intruder with a baseball bat. Your daughter is so pretty—it's only a matter of time until she's beating off the suitors!
2. vulgar slang To masturbate. Typically said of males. A: "Why is he all embarrassed today?" B: "Oh, his crush walked in on him beating off. How horrifying is that?"
out of kilter
1. Out of equilibrium; not straight, level, or aligned properly. This wall is a little out of kilter. We'll need to account for that during the renovation.
2. In a state of confusion or chaos. The economy has remained out of kilter in many countries across Europe, even as the global economy has started to recover. It seems like everything in my life has gone out of kilter recently.
3. Not working correctly or properly; out of order; out of w(h)ack. It sounds like your car's engine is a bit out of kilter. I'd recommend taking it to a mechanic before you go for any long drives.
take a whack at (something)
To attempt (to do) something; to take a turn trying (to do) something. Well, I haven't fixed a motor in nearly 10 years, but I'll certainly take a whack at it. You had your chance trying to break the piñata, now let your sister take a whack at it.
1. An extremely high or the highest possible amount of money. The manager is understandably upset to have paid top whack for the best player in the league, only to have him out with a career-ending injury after the first game. It's clear the only area has the super rich in mind in terms of housing; for those not earning top whack, affordable accommodation will be a good ways out of town.
2. The highest possible speed a vehicle, especially a car, can reach. The manager is understandably upset to have paid top whack for the best player in the league, only to have him out with a career-ending injury after the first game. It's clear the only area has the super rich in mind in terms of housing; for those not earning top whack, affordable accommodation will be a good ways out of town.
beat someone or something off
to drive someone or something away by beating. They beat the enemy off. The army beat off the savage attack, saving the town. I was able to beat off the intruder.
*out of kilterand *off-kilter
1. Lit. out of balance; crooked or tilted. (*Typically: be ~; get ~; knock something ~.) John, your tie is sort of off-kilter. Let me fix it. Please straighten the picture on the wall. It's out of kilter.
2. Fig. malfunctioning; on the fritz. (*Typically: be ~; go ~.) My furnace is out of kilter. I have to call someone to fix it. This computer is out of kilter. It doesn't let me log on.
*try at someoneand *shot at someone; *crack at someone; *go at someone *stab at someone
an attempt to convince someone of something; an attempt to try to get information out of someone; an attempt to try to train someone to do something. (The expressions with shot and crack are more informal than the main entry phrase. (*Typically: take ~; have ~; give someone ~.) Let me have a crack at him. I can make him talk. Let the new teacher have a try at Billy. She can do marvels with unwilling learners. Give me a crack at him. I know how to make these bums talk.
See also: try
*try at somethingand *shot at something; *crack at something; *go at something; *stab at something; *whack at something
to take a turn at trying to do something. (*Typically: take ~; have ~; give someone ~.) All of us wanted to have a try at the prize-winning shot. Let Sally have a shot at it. If you let me have a crack at it, maybe I can be successful.
See also: try
whack someone or something up
Sl. to damage someone or something. Bob got mad at Greg and whacked him up. Clara whacked up her car yesterday.
whack something off
1. Sl. to complete something easily or quickly. If you want a pair of these, I can whack them off for you in a few minutes. The artisan whacked off a set of the earrings in a few minutes.
2. Sl. to cut or chop something off. A tree branch is rubbing against the house. I guess I'll go out and whack that branch off. Whack off that other branch while you are at it.
up Sl. to chop something up. In about an hour, he had whacked the tree up into small logs. Have you whacked up the chicken for frying yet?
Sl. intoxicated. Gee, is he ever whacked! Dave was so whacked out he couldn't stand up.
Repulse, drive away by blows, as in We tried to beat off the flying ants swarming about us. Originating in the mid-1600s in a military context, this term was being used for other activities by the mid-1700s.
have a crack at
Also, get or have a go or shot or whack at ; take a crack at. Make an attempt or have a turn at doing something. For example, Let me have a crack at assembling it, or I had a shot at it but failed, or Dad thinks he can-let him have a go at it, or Dave had a whack at changing the tire, or Jane wants to take a crack at it. The oldest of these colloquialisms is have a shot at, alluding to firing a gun and first recorded in 1756; crack and go date from the 1830s, and whack from the late 1800s.
out of kilter
Also, out of whack. Not properly adjusted, not working well, out of order. For example, This whole schedule is out of kilter with the rest of our projects, or The wheels on the trailer are out of whack. The first term, also spelled kelter, dates from the early 1600s and its origin is not known. The precise allusion of the variant, a colloquial term dating from the late 1800s, is also unclear. Possibly it relates to a whack, or blow, throwing something off, or some suggest, to wacky, that is, "crazy."
out of whack
see under out of kilter.
1. Cut off, as in The cook whacked off the fish's head with one blow, or The barber whacked off more hair than I wanted him to. [Slang; first half of 1900s]
2. Masturbate, as in He went to his room and whacked off. [ Vulgar slang; mid-1900s]
have a crack atmake an attempt at doing, achieving, or winning (something).
out of kilterout of harmony or balance.
Kilter , dating from the early 17th century, was a dialect word meaning ‘frame or order’. It is now used only in this phrase.
out of whackout of order; not working. North American & Australian
1998 Bookseller There's been a fair amount of jeering…at the Sunday Times for getting its figures so comprehensively out of whack, by a factor of about 100 if memory serves.
top (or full) whackthe maximum price or rate.
1989 Holiday Which? Tour prices vary; you pay top whack if you book in large hotels.
out of ˈkilterout of harmony or balance; not working properly: Long-haul flights tend to throw your body clock out of kilter for a couple of days.
out of ˈwhack(informal, especially American English)
1 not appropriate or correct, especially in relation to something else: The Olympics have made flights and accommodation here incredibly expensive. Prices are way out of whack with normal. ♢ If you ask me, his priorities are all out of whack. He should find a job first, then decide where to live.
2 (especially of a system or machine) not working as it should: Don’t bother trying to call me on my cellphone. It’s out of whack again.
1. To drive someone or something away, especially by fighting or hitting: Two robbers attacked me on the subway, but I beat them off with my bag. After a long battle, the soldiers beat off the invaders.
2. To defeat someone or something in a competition: Our company intends to beat off our rivals for the contract. The visiting team was behind us for most of the game, but beat us off squarely in the end.
3. Vulgar Slang To masturbate. Used of males.
v. Vulgar Slang
To masturbate. Used of males.
beat offand ball off and jack off and jag off and jerk off and pull oneself off and toss off and wack off and wank off and whack off and whank off and whip off
1. in. to masturbate. (Usually objectionable.) They say if you beat off too much, you’ll get pimples.
2. in. to waste time; to waste one’s efforts; to do something inefficiently. The whole lot of them were jacking off rather than sticking to business. Stop whanking off and get on with your work!
See beat off
out of kilter
1. mod. not functioning properly; on the fritz; out of w(h)ack. My car’s engine is out of kilter and needs some repair work.
2. mod. out of square. That corner is not square, and the wall even looks out of kilter.
out of w(h)ack
mod. out of adjustment; inoperative. (see also out of kilter.) I think my left eye is out of wack a little. Maybe I need glasses.
take a whack at someone/something
tv. to hit at someone or something. Jerry got an ax and took a whack at the tree but didn’t do much damage.
take a whack at something
tv. to have a try at something. Why don’t you practice a little while and take a whack at it tomorrow?
1. tv. to strike someone or something. Larry reached down and wacked the dog across the snout.
2. n. a blow or hit (at someone or something). She landed a nasty wack on his thigh.
3. n. a drink of liquor. Take a whack of this stuff.
4. Go to w(h)acked.
w(h)ack someone/something up
in. to damage someone or something. (see also whack something up.) Bob got mad at Greg and whacked him up.
w(h)ack someone (out)
tv. to kill somebody. (Underworld.) Willie made another try at whacking Albert out last evening.
whack something off
1. tv. to complete something easily or quickly. If you want a pair of these, I can whack them off for you in a few minutes.
2. tv. to cut or chop something off. A tree branch is rubbing against the house. I guess I’ll go out and whack that branch off.
w(h)ack something (out)
tv. to rob a place; to swindle a business establishment. (Underworld.) Did your guys wack the church collection box?
whack something up
tv. to chop something up. In about an hour, he had whacked the tree up into small logs.
1. mod. wild; silly. Bill was wacked as always and embarrassed us all.
2. Go to w(h)acked (out).
See whacked out
out of whackInformal
Improperly ordered or balanced; not functioning correctly.