Definition of "whipsaw" [whip•saw]

  • A narrow two-person crosscut saw. (noun)
  • To cut with a whipsaw. (verb-transitive)
  • Games To win two bets from (a person) at one time, as in faro. (verb-transitive)
  • To cause to move or alternate rapidly in contrasting directions: "The bond market . . . continues to be whipsawed by fears of rekindled inflation” ( Steven E. Levingston). (verb-transitive)
  • To defeat or best in two ways at once. (verb-transitive)

American Heritage(R) Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright (c) 2011 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

Use "whipsaw" in a sentence
  • "The word 'whipsaw' might be an understatement to describe stock markets on Friday: up big at the start of trading, down big in midday trading and now U.S. indexes are up again - and substantially - in early afternoon trading."
  • "Then the Indian brings over a whipsaw from the cabin at Surprise Lake and makes lumber enough for the box."
  • "This bargaining tactic is called the whipsaw, and B.C. taxpayers are about to feel it in the months ahead."