AskDefine | Define whipsaw

The Collaborative Dictionary

Whipsaw \Whip"saw`\, n.
A saw for dividing timber lengthwise, usually set in a frame, and worked by two persons; also, a fret saw. [1913 Webster]
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. [Webster 1913 Suppl.]
Whipsaw \Whip"saw`\, v. t.
To saw with the whipsaw. [Webster 1913 Suppl.]
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. [Webster 1913 Suppl.]
to cause to suffer a setback or losses by subjecting to two forces at the same time or in rapid succession; as, consumers were whipsawed by both inflation and higher sales taxes. [PJC]
(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; as, to be whipsawed by exaggerated responses to a changing outlook. [PJC]

Word Net

whipsaw n : a handsaw intended for use by two people [syn: two-handed saw]


1 victimize, especially in gambling or negotiations
2 saw with a whipsaw [also: whipsawn]



  1. a crosscut saw operated by two people



to whipsaw
  1. to operate a whipsaw
  2. to lose potential profit by buying shares just before the price falls, or by selling them just before the price rises
  3. to defeat someone in two different ways at once
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