1 : an ability to say or write things that are clever and usually funny She is full of wit and vivacity. His latest book doesn"t have the same wit as his earlier books. The book is a collection of his wit and wisdom.

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3 : the ability to think or reason She"s got the wits <=intelligence> to make it work. He learned to live by his wits. <=to survive by doing clever and sometimes dishonest things> See More ExamplesShe can keep her wits about her <=remain calm and able to think clearly> in a crisis. He needed a moment to gather/collect his wits <=to become calm and able to think clearly> after the collision. (chiefly US) The chess champion will match wits <=compete> with a computer. = (chiefly Brit) He will pit his wits against a computer.Hide
b : an imaginatively perceptive and articulate individual especially skilled in banter or persiflage
4a : sense sense 2a —usually used in plural alone and warming his five wits, the white owl in the belfry sits— Alfred Tennyson
wist ˈwist ; witting; present first and third person singular wot ˈwät

Synonyms for wit

Synonyms: Noun

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wit, humor, irony, sarcasm, satire, repartee mean a mode of expression intended to arouse amusement. wit suggests the power to evoke laughter by remarks showing verbal felicity or ingenuity and swift perception especially of the incongruous. a playful wit humor implies an ability to perceive the ludicrous, the comical, and the absurd in human life and to express these usually without bitterness. a sense of humor irony applies to a manner of expression in which the intended meaning is the opposite of what is seemingly expressed. the irony of the title sarcasm applies to expression frequently in the form of irony that is intended to cut or wound. given to heartless sarcasm satire applies to writing that exposes or ridicules conduct, doctrines, or institutions either by direct criticism or more often through irony, parody, or caricature. a satire on the Congress repartee implies the power of answering quickly, pointedly, or wittily. a dinner guest noted for repartee

Noun She is full of wit and vivacity. His latest book doesn"t have the same wit as his earlier books. The book is a collection of his wit and wisdom. She was a famous writer and wit.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun And it’s not just Kieran Culkin’s Roman spouting profane wit, although that has been his forte since the start. — BostonGlobe.com, 14 Oct. 2021 With her peculiar tastes and relatably dark wit, Pink Cat has the makings of a Gen Z Garfield — a comparison Moeel welcomes. — Los Angeles Times, 14 Oct. 2021 In the show, the political theatre and acerbic wit drive the drama. — Alan Foster, Forbes, 14 Oct. 2021 One of the two male versions of the circumstances leading up to the event is outrageous enough to be charming, and a showcase for Mr. Driver’s quick wit. — Joe Morgenstern, WSJ, 13 Oct. 2021 Paloma reveals wit, kicks and moxie after meeting Bond in Cuba. — Bryan Alexander, USA TODAY, 7 Oct. 2021 Chappelle’s Show expecting more caustic stoner wit. — Craig Jenkins, Vulture, 6 Oct. 2021 But the stakes are low and the games are silly; the show exists primarily as a vehicle for his unique sensibility and wit. Stream it here. — Jason Bailey, New York Times, 6 Oct. 2021 Ali’s wit, pride and innate love of showmanship provides ample film evidence of how, in this first flush of fame, the boxer became a celebrity. — oregonlive, 16 Sep. 2021

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word "wit." Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of les-grizzlys-catalans.org or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of wit


before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at sense 3b


before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for wit


Middle English, from Old English; akin to Old High German wizzi knowledge, Old English witan to know


Middle English witen (1st & 3rd singular present wot, past wiste), from Old English witan (1st & 3rd singular present wāt, past wisse, wiste); akin to Old High German wizzan to know, Latin vidēre to see, Greek eidenai to know, idein to see