out·​wit | \ ˌau̇t-ˈwit \
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

Carlsen outwitted him again in the second game, despite the apparent disadvantage of playing with the black pieces. Andrew Beaton, WSJ, "Magnus Carlsen Wins World Chess Championship," 28 Nov. 2018 Suddenly, Laika, Ham, and her pups need to come up with a plan to outwit their human foes and save this intergalactic animal kingdom from extinction. Nathan Mattise, Ars Technica, "Laika: Forget historic tragedy, this first space dog saves alien planets," 14 Oct. 2018 Protesters appeared to outwit officers by splitting into two groups. Fox News, "The Latest: UNC leaders condemn Confederate statue toppling," 21 Aug. 2018 Four rupees mean one Tenali Raman book with its useful stories on how to outwit kings, gurus, and men. Aaron Gilbreath, Longreads, "‘Choose Marriage or Education’," 29 May 2018 Izquierdo then tore through the Arsenal defence, outwitting Mustafi before launching a shot from the edge of the area just wide of Čech's near-post. SI.com, "Brighton Beats Joyless Arsenal to Pile More Pressure on Arsene Wenger," 4 Mar. 2018 Handcuffed to a beautiful but reluctant accomplice, Hannay must outwit a nefarious spy ring to prevent critical secrets from being sent out of the country. F. Kathleen Foley, latimes.com, "The 99-Seat Beat: 'Slaughter City,' '39 Steps' and more," 22 June 2018 Mr Rajoy, a great survivor whose stolid appearance hides sharp political instincts, had been outwitted at last. The Economist, "Spain’s new prime minister, Pedro Sánchez, assembles a reassuring team," 7 June 2018 Pep Guardiola was left clueless as a Jurgen Klopp masterclass outwitted his managerial opponent, and all but guaranteed progression into the next round. SI.com, "Twitter Reacts to Man City's 'Nightmare' Capitulation in Unexpected UCL Thumping From Liverpool," 4 Apr. 2018

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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Dictionary Entries near outwit






out with it


Statistics for outwit

Last Updated

7 Dec 2018

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Time Traveler for outwit

The first known use of outwit was circa 1630

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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


out·​wit | \ au̇t-ˈwit \
outwitted; outwitting

Kids Definition of outwit

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More from Merriam-Webster on outwit

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with outwit

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for outwit

Spanish Central: Translation of outwit

Nglish: Translation of outwit for Spanish Speakers

Comments on outwit

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tremendous in size, volume, or degree

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