Definition of repartee
1a : a quick and witty replyb : a succession or interchange of clever retorts : amusing and usually light sparring with words
2 : adroitness and cleverness in reply : skill in repartee
repartee was our Word of the Day on 04/25/2010. Hear the podcast!
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Examples of repartee in a Sentence
The two comedians engaged in witty repartee.
that repartee to the reporter's question drew laughs from the bystanders
Recent Examples of repartee from the Web
Everyone is encouraged to work outside jobs and required to be home at 5:30 p.m. for dinner, a family affair where white- and blue-collar workers, ex-cons and smart alecks trade silly repartee reminiscent of teenage boys away at camp.
But his signature look, witty repartee, and penchant for handing out solid smoking tips have made him a popular frequent guest judge.
Turns out Charlotte is a stand-up comic who can match Lee for world-weary repartee and seems to have a thing for old guys, incorporating jokes about wrinkled body parts in her onstage routine.
There was even an opportunity for Spithill, Oracle Team USA’s skipper, to engage in interview room repartee with his opposing helmsman from New Zealand.
Next to a potato, a Walla Walla sweet is an elusive, alluring superstar, the kind with both the witty repartee and the winning smile.
Emily’s quick-witted, independent best friend, Vryling Buffam (Catherine Bailey), provides much of the comic relief with her barbed repartee and outrageous views.
All Felicia’s fab frippery and damn-the-torpedoes repartee puts the armor in glamour.
What followed Thursday was 10 minutes of gentle repartee, clothed in camaraderie.
These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'repartee'. Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.
Did You Know?
One person often noted for her repartee was Dorothy Parker, writer and legendary member of the Algonquin Round Table. Upon hearing that Calvin Coolidge had died, she replied, "How can they tell?" The taciturn Coolidge obviously didn’t have a reputation for being the life of the party, but he himself came out with a particularly famous repartee on one occasion. When a dinner guest approached him and told him she had bet someone she could get him to say more than two words, he replied, "You lose." Repartee, our word for such a quick, sharp reply (and for skill with such replies) comes from the French repartie, of the same meaning. Repartie comes from the French verb repartir, meaning "to retort."
Synonym Discussion of repartee
REPARTEE Defined for English Language Learners
Definition of repartee for English Language Learners
: conversation in which clever statements and replies are made quickly
Seen and Heard
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