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

transitive verb

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

Example Sentences

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 To dislodge dug-in troops is harder than to outwit an invader out in the open. Josef Joffe, Time, 1 Dec. 2022 That’s not as much fun as owning Apple and collecting its quarterly dividend checks, but it’s a lot more reliable way to make money than trying to outwit the market by trading individual stocks. Allan Sloan, Washington Post, 14 Nov. 2022 And there's a brand-new tribe of stars checking into The White Lotus, ready to outwit, outplay, and outlast their rivals. Emlyn Travis, EW.com, 22 Oct. 2022 It’s all central to Bayless’s long-term goal: continuing to outwit the aging process. Spenser Mestel, Men's Health, 22 Sep. 2022 The best way to outwit your children is to make sure their devices run the latest system software. Julie Jargon, WSJ, 3 Sep. 2022 When things go really really wrong though, the thieves have to think quick on their feet to outwit the authorities, weed out any liabilities on the team, and of course get away with the money. Milan Polk, Men's Health, 17 June 2022 Running the numbers on a Compaq computer the size of a small refrigerator, Jeffrey Yass and his friends had found a way to outwit the track’s bookies, according to interviews, records and news accounts. Jeff Ernsthausen, ProPublica, 21 June 2022 Though there's plenty of action, perhaps the most gripping part of the film is seeing Phillips's calm, tactical efforts to outwit his captors. Emma Dibdin, Town & Country, 17 June 2022 See More

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.

Word History

First Known Use

circa 1630, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of outwit was circa 1630

Dictionary Entries Near outwit

Cite this Entry

“Outwit.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/outwit. Accessed 6 Dec. 2022.

Kids Definition



out·​wit au̇t-ˈwit How to pronounce outwit (audio)
outwitted; outwitting
: to get the better of by cleverness

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