quick-wit·​ted ˈkwik-ˈwi-təd How to pronounce quick-witted (audio)
: quick in perception and understanding : mentally alert
quick-wittedly adverb
quick-wittedness noun
Choose the Right Synonym for quick-witted

intelligent, clever, alert, quick-witted mean mentally keen or quick.

intelligent stresses success in coping with new situations and solving problems.

an intelligent person could assemble it fast

clever implies native ability or aptness and sometimes suggests a lack of more substantial qualities.

clever with words

alert stresses quickness in perceiving and understanding.

alert to new technology

quick-witted implies promptness in finding answers in debate or in devising expedients in moments of danger or challenge.

no match for his quick-witted opponent

Examples of quick-witted in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Incredible performances from the whole cast (especially a deliciously evil Viola Davis and a quick-witted Jason Schwartzman) are the cherry on top of this stellar new entry in the Hunger Games world. James Grebey, Vulture, 17 Nov. 2023 As Alan, Jacobson exudes a quick-witted New York authenticity. Charles McNulty, Los Angeles Times, 16 Oct. 2023 For someone who’s built his brand off of being a Twitter troll so brash and quick-witted on social media, the real Lil Nas X seems more subdued than his social media personality would suggest. Kathleen Newman-Bremang, refinery29.com, 11 Sep. 2023 The whole family gained a measure of fame locally appearing in television advertisements for City Liquidators. Evans, Walt’s daughter and the founder of the Portland night market, described her father as a quick-witted businessman with a love for bargain hunting. oregonlive, 13 Sep. 2023 The film will revolve around a valiant, sharp and quick-witted law enforcement officer who embarks on a journey to fight for truth and bring justice in a high stakes case at international level. Naman Ramachandran, Variety, 4 Sep. 2023 Anyone impressed by Jeanne Dielman’s household chores, prostitution, and murder (and the feminist anger beneath the surface) will be relieved by Georgie’s quick-witted resourcefulness. Armond White, National Review, 30 Aug. 2023 Tyler sounds like a quick-witted, amiable, and confident person. Amy Dickinson, Chicago Tribune, 19 Aug. 2023 Tyler sounds like a quick-witted, amiable and confident person. Amy Dickinson, Washington Post, 19 Aug. 2023 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'quick-witted.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

1530, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of quick-witted was in 1530

Dictionary Entries Near quick-witted

Cite this Entry

“Quick-witted.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/quick-witted. Accessed 1 Dec. 2023.

Kids Definition


: quick in thinking and understanding : mentally alert
quick-wittedness noun

More from Merriam-Webster on quick-witted

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