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Meaning of whiplash

whip•lash

Pronunciation: (hwip'lash", wip'-), [key]
— n.
  1. the lash of a whip.
  2. an abrupt snapping motion or change of direction resembling the lash of a whip.
  3. a neck injury caused by a sudden jerking backward, forward, or both, of the head: Whiplash resulted when their car was struck from behind.
  4. Also calleda connected series of reverse curves of more or less elliptical form, used as a major design motif in the Art Nouveau style.
—v.t.
  1. to beat, hit, throw, etc., with or as if with a whiplash.
  2. to affect adversely, as by a sudden change: new taxes whiplashing corporate earnings.
Random House Unabridged Dictionary, Copyright © 1997, by Random House, Inc., on Infoplease.
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