Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • noun A narrow two-person crosscut saw.
  • transitive verb To cut with a whipsaw.
  • transitive verb Games To win two bets from (a person) at one time, as in faro.
  • transitive verb To cause to move or alternate rapidly in contrasting directions.
  • transitive verb To defeat or best in two ways at once.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • Hence, to beat, defeat, or cause to fail in two opposite ways at the same time. See the extract.
  • noun A frame-saw with a narrow blade, used to cut curved kerfs. See cut under saw.
  • To cut with a whip-saw.
  • To have or take the advantage of (an adversary), whatever he does or may be able to do; particularly, in gamblers' slang, to win at faro, at one turn (two bets made by the same person, one of which is played open, the other being coppered); beat (a player) in two ways at once.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • noun A saw for dividing timber lengthwise, usually set in a frame, and worked by two persons; also, a fret saw.
  • noun A kind of narrow ripsaw, tapering from butt to point, with hook teeth and averaging from 5 to 71/2 feet in length, used by one or two men.
  • transitive verb To saw with the whipsaw.
  • transitive verb To defeat in, or cause to lose, two different bets at the same turn or in one play, as a player at faro who has made two bets at the same time, one that a card will lose and another that a different card will win; hence, to defeat in spite of every effort.
  • transitive verb to cause to suffer a setback or losses by subjecting to two forces at the same time or in rapid succession.
  • transitive verb (Finance) to cause to suffer a series of losses in trading when buying and selling at the wrong times in a rapidly fluctuating market; -- especially used when an attempt is made, by selling short, to recover losses from a long purchase in a declining market, and the short sale also results in a loss when the market subsequently rises. Used mostly in the passive.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • noun a crosscut saw operated by two people
  • verb to operate a whipsaw
  • verb to lose potential profit by buying shares just before the price falls, or by selling them just before the price rises
  • verb to defeat someone in two different ways at once

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

  • noun a saw with handles at both ends; intended for use by two people
  • verb saw with a whipsaw
  • verb victimize, especially in gambling or negotiations

Etymologies

Sorry, no etymologies found.

Examples

  • 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.

    The Globe and Mail - Home RSS feed

  • 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.

    The Globe and Mail - Home RSS feed

  • Then the Indian brings over a whipsaw from the cabin at Surprise Lake and makes lumber enough for the box.

    Flush of Gold

  • Then the Indian brings over a whipsaw from the cabin at Surprise Lake and makes lumber enough for the box.

    Flush of Gold

  • This bargaining tactic is called the whipsaw, and B.C. taxpayers are about to feel it in the months ahead.

    Kootenay Rockies - News

  • This bargaining tactic is called the whipsaw, and B.C. taxpayers are about to feel it in the months ahead.

    Kootenay Rockies - News

  • This bargaining tactic is called the whipsaw, and B.C. taxpayers are about to feel it in the months ahead.

    Kootenay Rockies - News

  • This bargaining tactic is called the whipsaw, and B.C. taxpayers are about to feel it in the months ahead.

    Kootenay Rockies - News

  • Until clear answers emerge, expectations center on the kind of whipsaw markets seen in 2010 where the dollar is tossed up and down as investors move their focus between the regions' competing woes.

    Dollar's Up-and-Down Year

  • From a technical standpoint, the market is displaying a specific set of trends and divergences that has often been associated with "whipsaw" reversals.

    GuruFocus Updates -

Comments

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  • "2008 was a crazy, volatile, whipsaw year and looking back, when I was doing the research for this, there were so many things I had forgotten, and I remember thinking: 'Wow, all this happened in one year'," said Vera Chan, senior editor of Yahoo Buzz."

    - Maggie Shiels, 'Britney more popular than Obama', BBC News, 1 Dec 2008.

    December 2, 2008

  • "A frame-saw with a narrow blade, used to cut curved kerfs. See cut under saw."

    -- from the Century Dictionary

    June 8, 2015