wit


1wit

verb \ˈwit\
wist \ˈwist\ wit·ting present 1st & 3d singular wot \ˈwät\

Definition of WIT

1
archaic :  know
2
archaic :  to come to know :  learn

Origin of WIT

Middle English witen (1st & 3d singular present wot, past wiste), from Old English witan (1st & 3d 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
First Known Use: before 12th century

2wit

noun

: an ability to say or write things that are clever and usually funny

: a person who is known for making clever and funny remarks

wits : the ability to think or reason

Full Definition of WIT

1
a :  mind, memory
b :  reasoning power :  intelligence
2
a :  sense 2a —usually used in plural <alone and warming his five wits, the white owl in the belfry sits — Alfred Tennyson>
b (1) :  mental soundness :  sanity —usually used in plural
(2) :  mental capability and resourcefulness :  ingenuity
3
a :  astuteness of perception or judgment :  acumen
b :  the ability to relate seemingly disparate things so as to illuminate or amuse
c (1) :  a talent for banter or persiflage
(2) :  a witty utterance or exchange
d :  clever or apt humor
4
a :  a person of superior intellect :  thinker
b :  an imaginatively perceptive and articulate individual especially skilled in banter or persiflage
at one's wit's end or at one's wits' end
:  at a loss for a means of solving a problem

Examples of WIT

  1. She is full of wit and vivacity.
  2. His latest book doesn't have the same wit as his earlier books.
  3. The book is a collection of his wit and wisdom.
  4. She was a famous writer and wit.

Origin of WIT

Middle English, from Old English; akin to Old High German wizzi knowledge, Old English witan to know
First Known Use: before 12th century

Synonym Discussion of WIT

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>.

Other Psychology Terms

fetish, hypochondria, intelligence, mania, narcissism, neurosis, pathological, psychosis, schadenfreude, subliminal

Browse

Next Word in the Dictionary: witan
Previous Word in the Dictionary: wistly
All Words Near: wit

Seen & Heard

What made you want to look up wit? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

Get Our Free Apps
Voice Search, Favorites,
Word of the Day, and More
Join Us on FB & Twitter
Get the Word of the Day and More