riposte

play
noun ri·poste \ ri-ˈpōst \

Definition of riposte

1 :a fencer's quick return thrust following a parry
2 :a retaliatory verbal sally :retort
3 :a retaliatory maneuver or measure

riposte

verb

riposte was our Word of the Day on 03/23/2013. Hear the podcast!

Examples of riposte in a Sentence

  1. he's known for having a brilliant riposte to nearly any insult

Recent Examples of riposte from the Web

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'riposte.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

Did You Know?

In the sport of fencing, a riposte is a counterattack made after successfully fending off one's opponent. English speakers borrowed the name for this particular maneuver from French in the early 1700s, but the French had simply modified Italian risposta, which literally means "answer." Ultimately these words come from the Latin verb respondēre meaning "to respond." It seems fitting that "riposte" has since come full circle to now refer to a quick and witty response performed as a form of retaliation.

Origin and Etymology of riposte

French, modification of Italian risposta, literally, answer, from rispondere to respond, from Latin respondēre

riposte Synonyms

Other Combat Sports Terms


RIPOSTE Defined for English Language Learners

riposte

play
noun

Definition of riposte for English Language Learners

  • : a quick and clever reply



Seen and Heard

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

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!

WORD OF THE DAY

agreeable, attractive, or delicious

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Merriam-Webster's New Words Quiz—Fall 2017 Edition!

  • young-plant-shoots
  • Which of the following is a new sense of the word bunny?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

TAKE THE QUIZ
Add Diction

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!