nit·​wit ˈnit-ˌwit How to pronounce nitwit (audio)
: a scatterbrained or stupid person

Examples of nitwit in a Sentence

Don't be such a nitwit. don't be a nitwit—wear a seat belt!
Recent Examples on the Web So, too, does the genuinely loathsome Robert Maxwell (look him up), played with a nicely despicable air by Roger Allam, and his nitwit son Kevin (Anthony Boyle), who insists that everyone call him Mr. Maxwell. Bill Goodykoontz, The Arizona Republic, 27 Mar. 2023 Joe Biden, Kamala Harris, Andrew Cuomo, and every third progressive nitwit on Twitter cast doubt on the safety and the efficacy of the Covid-19 vaccines that were being developed under Operation Warp Speed, the Trump administration’s program to expedite a vaccine. Kevin D. Williamson, National Review, 13 Feb. 2022 Dunst sleepwalks through this noxious comedy based on Toby Young’s 2001 memoir of the same name, playing a writer who takes a reluctant liking to Pegg’s infantile nitwit. Matthew Jacobs, Vulture, 2 Dec. 2021 Like that nitwit in Mobile -- a hotbed for COVID -- who filed two bills that would make controlling the virus even more difficult. John Archibald |, al, 2 Sep. 2021 These things get passed around via emails from one gullible and naive nitwit to the next. Tom Margenau, Dallas News, 13 Sep. 2020 One theory that has a certain elegance and simplicity is that Trump is a nitwit. Louis Menand, The New Yorker, 4 July 2020 The abuse of the apostrophe by nitwits has been going on for quite some time. Washington Post, 9 Jan. 2020 Which is why more courageous states have agencies that actually protect the land and water from polluters and environmental marauders and nitwits. John Archibald |, al, 27 Sep. 2019 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'nitwit.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


probably from German dialect nit not + English wit

First Known Use

1914, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of nitwit was in 1914

Dictionary Entries Near nitwit

Cite this Entry

“Nitwit.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 23 Sep. 2023.

Kids Definition


nit·​wit ˈnit-ˌwit How to pronounce nitwit (audio)
: a stupid or silly person

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