Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. Slang A supernatural spell for subduing an adversary; a hex: put the whammy on someone.
  • n. Slang A serious or devastating setback: "The triple whammy: government cuts, declining corporate giving, and less favorable tax laws” ( New York Times).

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. a serious or devastating setback
  • n. an evil spell; a curse or hex

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. an evil spell
  • n. a serious or devastating setback

Etymologies

Perhaps from wham.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)

Examples

  • But what seems to be a double whammy is that with Social Networks is if you want you can be anonymous and reach out and make a new connection.

    Changing Direction. « The Paradigm Shift

  • This time it's a double whammy from a single family, with Federal Housing Finance Board Chairman John T. Korsmo and his wife Michelle, who has worked as deputy chief of staff to Labor Secretary Elaine L. Chao, coming under fire from the Justice Deparment for obstruction of justice in an investigation of campaign finance irregularities.

    Speaking of lists...

  • So older people who skimp on protein really get a double whammy, which is why they are often vitamin B12 deficient.

    Are we meat eaters or vegetarians? Part I | The Blog of Michael R. Eades, M.D.

  • REED: Yes, I think it's such an emotional whammy, which is why, you know, you can forgive the mayor for saying, oh, come on, let's come back in, despite what we just saw on TV.

    CNN Transcript Sep 26, 2005

  • In the first show, for example, Dyrdek asks Chanel "West Coast" what comes to mind when she hears the term "double whammy."

    SFGate: Top News Stories

  • As an expression for an evil influence or hex, a "whammy" was added to the vernacular in 1941 when a boxing manager said a "double whammy" was the only way African-American boxer Joe Lewis was ever to be knocked out.

    The Triple Whammy of Bigotry in the 2008 Election

  • I use the "whammy" setting (Pd for Zoom users) of my GFX-1 to do the dives/reverse dives.

    TALK @ PhilMusic.com - The Online Home of the Pinoy Musician

  • Wrigley had either seen a professional wrestling match or read about one in which a wrestler used an assistant to cast spells and hexes or otherwise put a 'whammy' on his opponent.

    Beachwood Reporter

  • A discussion about the hex, the spell, the "whammy" kind of curses.

    News & Features from Minnesota Public Radio

  • That's the double whammy which is not going to seem "fair" enough to sustain forever, no matter what promises policians made during boom times.

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