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repartee

play
noun rep·ar·tee \ˌre-pər-ˈtē, -ˌpär-, -ˈtā\

Simple Definition of repartee

  • : conversation in which clever statements and replies are made quickly

Source: Merriam-Webster's Learner's Dictionary

Full Definition of repartee

  1. 1 a :  a quick and witty reply b :  a succession or interchange of clever retorts :  amusing and usually light sparring with words

  2. 2 :  adroitness and cleverness in reply :  skill in repartee

Examples of repartee in a sentence

  1. The two comedians engaged in witty repartee.

  2. <that repartee to the reporter's question drew laughs from the bystanders>



Did You Know?

One person often noted for her repartee was Dorothy Parker, writer and legendary member of the Algonquin Round Table. Upon hearing that Calvin Coolidge had died, she replied, "How can they tell?" The taciturn Coolidge obviously didn’t have a reputation for being the life of the party, but he himself came out with a particularly famous repartee on one occasion. When a dinner guest approached him and told him she had bet someone she could get him to say more than two words, he replied, "You lose." Repartee, our word for such a quick, sharp reply (and for skill with such replies) comes from the French repartie, of the same meaning. Repartie comes from the French verb repartir, meaning "to retort."

Origin and Etymology of repartee

French repartie, from repartir to retort, from Middle French, from re- + partir to divide — more at part


First Known Use: circa 1645

Synonym Discussion of repartee

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>.

Rhymes with repartee

Adige, A-OK, alleyway, All Fools' Day, All Saints' Day, All Souls' Day, all the way, anyway, appliqué, Arbor Day, arrivé, atelier, attaché, back away, ballonet, bang away, Bastille Day, Beaujolais, beta ray, beurre manié, BHA, blow away, botonée, Boxing Day, breakaway, break away, Bristol Bay, bustier, by the way, cabaret, cableway, Camagüey, canapé, cap-a-pie, Cape Cod Bay, caraway, carriageway, cassoulet, castaway, cathode ray, champlevé, chansonnier, chardonnay, Charolais, chevalier, china clay, cloisonné, cog railway, colorway, Condorcet, consommé, coryphée, cosmic ray, croupier, crudités, cutaway, day-to-day, debauchee, déclassé, dégagé, degree-day, delta ray, démodé, devotee, disarray, disobey, distingué, divorcé, divorcée, DNA, dollar day, double play, draw away, dress-down day, eagle ray, eightfold way, émigré, engagé, entranceway, entremets, entryway, espalier, everyday, exposé, expressway, fadeaway, fallaway, fall away, faraday, Faraday, faraway, fiancé, fiancée, fill away, fire away, flageolet, flyaway, foldaway, gal Friday, gamma ray, garde-manger, Georgian Bay, getaway, girl Friday, giveaway, give away, gratiné, gratinée, Greenaway, Groundhog Day, guillemet, Harare, hell to pay, Hemingway, hereaway, hideaway, hit the hay, HLA, holiday, holy day, Hornaday, Hudson Bay, Hugh Capet, Humboldt Bay, in a way, inter se, interplay, intraday, IPA, IRA, Ise Bay, judgment day, keep-away, kyrie, Labor Day, lackaday, latter-day, layaway, lay away, lingerie, macramé, Mandalay, manta ray, Massenet, matinee, medal play, meet halfway, MIA, Milky Way, Monterrey, Mother's Day, motorway, muscadet, mystery play, negligee, New Year's Day, New York Bay, Nicolet, night and day, Nottaway, off Broadway, Ojibwa, on the way, out of play, overlay, overplay, overstay, overweigh, Paraguay, passageway, pass away, passion play, pepper spray, Petare, photoplay, pikake, pis aller, play-by-play, plug-and-play, popinjay, potter's clay, pourparler, pousse-café, power play, present-day, protégé, protégée, pull away, put away, Put-in-Bay, Rabelais, rack railway, rainy-day, rambouillet, ratiné, recamier, recherché, reconvey, repoussé, résumé, retroussé, ricochet, right away, right-of-way, rockaway, roentgen ray, rondelet, roundelay, RNA, runaway, run away, Saguenay, salt away, San Jose, Santa Fe, São Tomé, Saturday, satyr play, semplice, Seventh-Day, severance pay, shadow play, sleepaway, sobriquet, sock away, sommelier, square away, steerageway, standaway, stowaway, straightaway, street railway, Table Bay, taboret, tarsier, taxiway, tearaway, tear away, teleplay, Tenebrae, thataway, throwaway, throw away, Thunder Bay, triple play, turn away, Udine, underlay, underpay, underplay, underway, Uruguay, velouté, Venite, vérité, vertebra, virelay, walkaway, Wang Ching-wei, waterway, wellaway, Whitsunday, workaday, working day, Yenisey, Zuider Zee



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