Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English homepage

Topic: CLEANING

Language: Old English
Origin: wipian

wipe

1 verb
     
wipe1 S3
1

clean/rub

[transitive]
a) to rub a surface with something in order to remove dirt, liquid etc
wipe something with something
Wipe the table with a damp cloth.
Bill wiped his eyes (=wiped the tears from his face) and apologized.
He pulled a handkerchief from his pocket and wiped his nose.
b) to clean something by rubbing it against a surface
wipe something on something
He wiped his mouth on the back of his hand.
2

remove dirt

[transitive always + adverb/preposition] to remove liquid, dirt, or marks by wiping
wipe something off/from etc something
Kim wiped the sweat from her face.
3TD

computer/tape

[transitive]TCRTD to remove all the information that is stored on a tape, video, or computer disk
4

wipe something from your mind/memory

to try to forget an unpleasant experience
5

wipe the floor with somebody

informal to defeat someone completely in a competition or argument
6

wipe the slate clean

to agree to forget about mistakes or arguments that happened in the past
7

wipe the smile/grin off somebody's face

informal to make someone feel less happy or confident, especially someone who is annoying because they think they are clever:
Tell him how much it'll cost - that should wipe the smile off his face!
8

wipe something off the face of the earth/wipe something off the map

to destroy something completely:
Another few years and this species could be wiped off the face of the earth.
9

plates/cups etc

[intransitive and transitive]DHC to dry plates, cups etc that have been washed [= dry]:
You wash, I'll wipe.

wipe something ↔ away

phrasal verb
to stop something existing:
A frown quickly wiped away her smile.

wipe something ↔ down

phrasal verb
DHC to completely clean a surface using a wet cloth

wipe something off something

phrasal verb
to reduce the value of shares or prices by a particular amount:
Nearly £7 billion has been wiped off share prices worldwide.

wipe out

phrasal verb
1

wipe somebody/something ↔ out

to destroy, remove, or get rid of something completely:
Whole villages were wiped out by the floods.
Nothing could wipe out his bitter memories of the past.
2

wipe somebody ↔ out

informal to make you feel extremely tired:
The heat had wiped us out.
wiped out
3 American English to fall or hit another object when driving a car, riding a bicycle etc

wipe something ↔ up

phrasal verb
DHC to remove liquid from a surface using a cloth:
I hastily wiped up the milk I had spilled.
WORD FOCUS: clean WORD FOCUS: clean
wash with soap and water
wipe
with a damp cloth
brush
with a brush to remove the dirt
polish
by rubbing with a cloth
scrub
by rubbing hard
sweep
with a broom
mop
with water and a mop (a tool with a long handle)
vacuum
also hoover British English with a machine that sucks up dust
disinfect
using chemicals to kill germs
cleanse
to clean your skin using a special cream
rinse
to put water on to remove dirt or soap
dust
to remove dust, for example with a cloth


See also
clean
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