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 Alas, Kendall doesn't quite have the brains to outwit his father. Carrie Wittmer, Harper's BAZAAR, "Succession Season 1: What You Need to Remember Before the New Season," 11 Aug. 2019 Giorgio Chiellini - Renowned around the world as one of the finest centre-backs, there are few players that can outmuscle and outwit Chiellini. SI.com, "Claudio Ranieri: The Tinkerman's All Time Best XI," 12 June 2019 Grace is a street-smart, sarcastic smoker who has to outwit, outplay and outlast a bunch of privileged buffoons obsessed with status. Katie Walsh, Detroit Free Press, "‘Ready or Not’ is too snarky to be scary," 19 Aug. 2019 Here too success often depends on the ability to outwit others. The Economist, "Lots of investors bet on “factors”, such as size, value and momentum," 18 July 2019 Third, work with regulators rather than try to outwit or overwhelm them. The Economist, "What Microsoft’s revival can teach other tech companies," 25 July 2019 Max was having little success trying to outwit the walleye, perch, bass and trout when a friendly, young man named Tyler stepped up to help. Wendy Pramik, USA TODAY, "Historic chautauquas are gaining steam. Take a tour of Lakeside Chautauqua in Ohio," 25 July 2019 To no one’s surprise, the trio outwits the Yeti guards and Stenk and Piggot-Dunceby, leaving Sir Lionel free to set off on a new adventure, with Mr. Link playing a sort of Dr. Watson to his Sherlock Holmes. Charles Solomon, Los Angeles Times, "Review: ‘Missing Link’ fails to live up to Laika’s previous animated efforts," 11 Apr. 2019 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

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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Statistics for outwit

Last Updated

26 Oct 2019

Time Traveler for outwit

The first known use of outwit was circa 1630

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More Definitions for outwit


How to pronounce outwit (audio)

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

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for outwit

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with outwit

Spanish Central: Translation of outwit

Nglish: Translation of outwit for Spanish Speakers

Comments on outwit

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something of little or no value

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