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

Luckily, there’s never been a better time to outwit genetics. Monica Corcoran Harel, Marie Claire, "What Is Cosmetic Tattooing? Read This Before You Get One," 29 Mar. 2019 Minutes later, Bonaventura played in a dangerous low cross after outwitting Cuadrado on the left. SI.com, "Juventus Blows Away AC Milan in Second Half to Win 4th Straight Coppa Italia," 9 May 2018 Adler’s book is as much about attracting birds as outwitting squirrels. John Kelly, Washington Post, "Meet the D.C. man who wrote the book on defeating birdseed-stealing squirrels," 15 Apr. 2018 Certainly there is no shortage of unsettling media coverage of the virus and its grim ability to outwit modern vaccines and medications. William F. Bynum, WSJ, "‘Pandemic 1918’ and ‘Influenza’ Review: Fire, Ice or Virus?," 4 Jan. 2019 And as authorities crack down, athletes keep finding clever ways to outwit increasingly byzantine doping rules as new techniques and drugs catch on. Umair Irfan, Vox, "Olympic swimmer Ryan Lochte broke doping rules. It happens far more than you think.," 24 July 2018 And for such strategies, qualities like narcissism and Machiavellianism may be highly adaptive, helping individuals to outwit rivals and achieve success, including reproductive success. Glenn Geher, WSJ, "The Dark Triad and the Evolution of Jerks," 6 Dec. 2018 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

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


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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 How to pronounce outwit (audio) \
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

What made you want to look up outwit? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


incapable of being surmounted or overcome

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