out·​wit | \ ˌau̇t-ˈwit How to pronounce outwit (audio) \
outwitted; outwitting

Definition of outwit

transitive verb

1 : to get the better of by superior cleverness : outsmart
2 archaic : to surpass in wisdom

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Examples of outwit in a Sentence

The fox managed to outwit the hunter by hiding in a tree. They thought they had outwitted the new teacher.
Recent Examples on the Web Many kids in Central Dauphin grew up watching the clever mouse outwit the cartoon cat in Tom & Jerry. Michael Gehlken, Dallas News, 19 July 2021 But the blokes surrounding them get double, triple crossed, emasculated by their paramours, backed into too many corners, too often, by the people they’re ostensibly supposed to outwit. K. Austin Collins, Rolling Stone, 7 July 2021 The longer vaccination rates lag worldwide, the more opportunity the virus will have to mutate into forms that can outwit existing vaccines. Rachel Gutman, The Atlantic, 24 June 2021 Attempting to outwit professional comedians on a public platform is never a great idea, and Cruz really shouldn’t have targeted a comedian who hosts a popular late night show, and is able to dedicate an entire monologue to their Twitter spats. Dani Di Placido, Forbes, 26 May 2021 Workers have long tried to outwit the gig platforms, with strategies such as using apps from multiple companies. Michelle Cheng, Quartz, 2 June 2021 Companies that are diligently developing a culture of inclusivity will outperform, outpace, out-shine, and outwit those who don't. Teresa Hopke, Forbes, 24 May 2021 If a group of historians and history buffs gets together to look at old Phoenix pictures and then tries to outwit one another with trivia questions, one is apt to come away with a few story ideas. Donna Reiner, The Arizona Republic, 20 May 2021 By tricking them, Paulina convinces her brothers to outwit the security measures of their ex-home and recover the treasure. Jacob Siegal, BGR, 27 Apr. 2021

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'outwit.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of outwit

circa 1630, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Time Traveler for outwit

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The first known use of outwit was circa 1630

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Last Updated

24 Jul 2021

Cite this Entry

“Outwit.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/outwit. Accessed 22 Sep. 2021.

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More Definitions for outwit



English Language Learners Definition of outwit

: to defeat or trick (someone) by being more intelligent or clever : outsmart


out·​wit | \ au̇t-ˈwit How to pronounce outwit (audio) \
outwitted; outwitting

Kids Definition of outwit

More from Merriam-Webster on outwit

Nglish: Translation of outwit for Spanish Speakers


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