a whack at (someone or something)

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a whack at (someone or something)

1. A chance or opportunity to do or attempt something. Well, I haven't fixed a motor in nearly 10 years, but I'll certainly make a whack at it. You had your chance, now let your brother have a whack at breaking the piñata. Give Sarah a whack at the equation. I bet she can solve it!
2. An attempt to best, defeat, or assault someone. Watching him smile that smug, self-important smile, I thought to myself how much I'd love to have a whack at him—one on one, with nothing but our fists! A: "This doesn't seem like any ordinary thief. He's always one step ahead of us." B: "Give me a whack at him, Chief. I think I can bring him in." She made a name for herself as one of the best racers in the world in the span of just one year. Now, every professional worth their salt wants a whack at her.
3. A harsh or unfair criticism, belittlement, or verbal attack. I feel a little bad for taking a whack at him like that, but what he said was just too dumb to let slide. It seems like everyone in the office has had a whack at me over the mistake.
See also: whack
References in classic literature ?
I reckon our pow- wows won't do us or anyone much harm, so let's have another whack at the whence, why and whither this evening, doctor."
"It got half of it," he announced; "but I got a whack at it jes' the same.
A moviemaker better have one hell of a compelling reason to have another whack at Les Liaisons Dangereuses, Pierre Choderlos de Laclos's 1782 novel that has already spawned a 1959 film version with Jeanne Moreau; Christopher Hampton's incomparable play starring Lindsay Duncan and Alan Rickman; director Stephen Frears's elegantly spidery 1988 film starring Glenn Close and John Malkovich; and Milos Forman's 1989 also-ran Valmont.
Washington, D.C., attorney and immigration activist Rick Swartz believes Congress will take another whack at legal immigrants next year.
According to author Stewart Holbrook, Douglas-fir logging began with one Clement Adams Bradbury, a native of Saco, Maine, who on January 15, 1847, spat on his hands, grabbed his double-bitted ax, and took his first whack at the biggest tree he had ever seen, a fir eight feet in diameter near Astoria, Oregon.