one-lin·​er ˌwən-ˈlī-nər How to pronounce one-liner (audio)
: a very succinct joke or witticism
: a succinct or meaningful and especially accurate statement

Examples of one-liner in a Sentence

the senator deftly inserted some smart one-liners into an otherwise sober speech
Recent Examples on the Web The host’s monologues, with biting one-liners about his new city, are also quintessential Mulaney: strong rhythm, witty criticism and a dash of eccentricity. Matt Brennan, Los Angeles Times, 17 May 2024 The show’s evolving love triangles, new students and iconic one-liners had the hashtag #HeartbreakHigh reach over 2 billion views on TikTok. Patrick Frater, Variety, 9 May 2024 Just like in previous seasons, the jokes were full of witty one-liners and name drops, with one scene focused entirely on Tom Cruise’s elusive coconut cake. Sabrina Weiss, Peoplemag, 7 May 2024 For decades, Munger and Buffett functioned as a classic comedy duo, with Buffett offering lengthy setups to Munger’s witty one-liners. Josh Funk, Fortune, 6 May 2024 Back in 2017, their press tour for Spider-Man: Homecoming was a flirtatious tour de force: Zendaya always doubled over in laughter, Tom comforting an anxious Zendaya with a gentle hand on her knee, both of them constantly pulling the same silly face or one-liner out at the same exact time. Ivana Rihter, Vogue, 3 May 2024 Just like those previous occasions, the latest sketch features Gosling doing his best to hold it together but inevitably cracking up during one of McKinnon’s killer one-liners. Shania Russell,, 14 Apr. 2024 The controversial exchange—full of bizarre explanations and quotable one-liners—went on to cause a global storm, and led to the Prince stepping back from royal duties just days later. Armani Syed, TIME, 5 Apr. 2024 As the younger of two daughters to a divorced single mom, Bertinelli’s Barbara Cooper was the picture of precocity, displaying her rapier wit in zippy one-liners. Mayukh Sen, Washington Post, 1 Apr. 2024

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

Word History

First Known Use

1962, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of one-liner was in 1962

Dictionary Entries Near one-liner

Cite this Entry

“One-liner.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 13 Jun. 2024.

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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