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

Definition of WIT

archaic :  know
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



: 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

a :  mind, memory
b :  reasoning power :  intelligence
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
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
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
WITS Defined for Kids


noun \ˈwit\

Definition of WIT for Kids

:  normal mental state —usually used in pl. <He scared me out of my wits.>
:  power to think, reason, or decide <He had the wit to leave.> <The chess player matched wits with a computer.>
:  clever and amusing comments, expressions, or talk
:  a talent for making clever and usually amusing comments
:  a person with a talent for making clever and amusing comments


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