'Whack' or 'Wack': What's the Difference Between the Two?

By Shanea Patterson, updated on January 24, 2023

Wondering whether to use ‘whack’ or ‘wack’? And what is the difference between the two? We’ll answer that in more detail below, plus teach you how to use the correct spelling of the word in a sentence.

In short, the difference is:

  • ‘Whack’ is a verb, and it means to hit or punch someone.
  • ‘Wack’ is an adjective that means abnormal or unusual.

Therefore, these words shouldn’t be used interchangeably. 

‘Wack’ vs. ‘Whack’ in English

As you just learned, the difference between these two words is that ‘wack’ is an adjective that means abnormal or unusual.

‘Whack’ is a verb that means to hit or punch someone with your hand or with an object.

Since they sound the same and mean different things, they're considered homophones.

‘Wack’ or ‘Whack’ – Which is Correct? 

Since both words are technically recognized words in the English language, they’re both correct. It just depends on the context in which you use them.

For example, you’d only use ‘whack’ when referring to hitting someone or something.

And you’d only use ‘wack’ when you’re talking about something that’s out of the ordinary or unusual.

Definition and Meaning of ‘Whack’ and ‘Wack’

According to Merriam-Webster, the definition of ‘whack’ is to strike with a resounding blow, to cut with, to get the better of (defeat), or to murder someone.

It could also be defined as a condition or state, a portion or share, or a single action or occasion.

Synonyms of the word include:

  • Bang
  • Bash
  • Clap
  • Bust
  • Bust
  • Crack
  • Clobber
  • Slam
  • Pound
  • Punch
  • Slap

The definition of ‘wack’ is not up to the mark, lousy, and lame.

Synonyms of this word include:

  • Bastard
  • Inferior
  • Off
  • Bush
  • Crummy
  • Poor
  • Bad
  • Sour
  • Wrong

Pronunciation: How to Pronounce ‘Whack’ and ‘Wack’

Wondering how to pronounce these words? Here’s a short guide.

  • To pronounce both words, here’s the phonetic spelling: WAK

How to Use ‘Whack’ in a Sentence

Now that you know how to pronounce the words and what they mean let’s see some examples of how to use them both in a sentence.

  • Whack a Mole is more fun than any other game at the county fair. I love pounding that mallet.
  • My sister whacked me with a book on her way to her room.
  • I should whack you for leaving your clothes all over the house. Pick them up!
  • I don’t think you should whack your son like that. Someone might call child protective services.

How to Use ‘Wack’ in a Sentence

Now, let’s see some examples of how to use ‘wack.’

  • I can’t possibly have peace of mind knowing things are out of wack down at the power plant.
  • The music we had in the early 2000s was better than the trash you have now. Every song is wack!
  • I didn’t realize how wack a lot of our fashion was in the early 2000s.
  • This wack book could never fulfill me the way I hoped it would. It’s complete filth.

Final Thoughts on ‘Whack’ and ‘Wack’

To recap, we learned that ‘whack’ and ‘wack’ are homophones because they sound the same but mean different things. ‘Whack’ means to hit someone, while ‘wack’ means out of the ordinary.

If you ever get stuck on spelling or usage, you can always come back for a quick refresher. We’ve also got a ton of other content dedicated to explaining confusing words and phrases in the English language. Go check it out.

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Written By:
Shanea Patterson
Shanea Patterson is a writer based in New York and loves writing for brands big and small. She has a master's degree in professional writing from New York University and a bachelor's degree in English from Mercy College.

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