ri·​poste | \ ri-ˈpōst How to pronounce riposte (audio) \

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

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Other Words from riposte

riposte verb

Synonyms for riposte


comeback, repartee, retort

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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.

Examples of riposte in a Sentence

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

Recent Examples on the Web

At times this feels like a valid riposte to the entirety of outrage culture, with its tsk-tsking of non-Mexican kids wearing sombreros as costumes or a white teenager wearing a qipao to prom. New York Times, "News of an ‘Outrage’ Used to Mean Something Very, Very Different," 23 May 2018 Adam Zamoyski’s book is a worthy riposte to that of Andrew Roberts. Ruth Scurr, WSJ, "‘Napoleon: A Life’ Review: He Thought He Was Napoleon," 11 Oct. 2018 Their joint platform offers an emphatic riposte to the edicts of Brussels, potentially threatens the integrity of the euro zone, promises a hard-line campaign against migrants and extends a hand of friendship to Moscow. Ishaan Tharoor, Washington Post, "Italy draws its battle lines with Europe," 21 May 2018 Given that Mexico is the Americans' biggest rival, Donovan's ads provoked an angry riposte. Ronald Blum,, "Mexico, Iceland, England compete for Americans' support in World Cup," 23 June 2018 The deal is seen as a major win for Amazon as well as a riposte to its chief rival, Netflix, which has been on a creative buying spree that includes recent deals with mega-producers Ryan Murphy and Shonda Rhimes. David Ng,, "Amazon's TV deal with Jordan Peele among the highest-profile to date for streaming service," 5 June 2018 Andrew Wyatt, a spokesman for the defense, declined to comment Friday on Ms. Feden’s riposte to Ms. Bliss. Jennifer Schuessler, New York Times, "The Prosecutor Who Stared Down Bill Cosby," 29 Apr. 2018 But Van Dijk urged his fellow players and Liverpool's supporters to look back on the season with pride and issued the perfect riposte to gloating fans of rival clubs., "Virgil Van Dijk Urges Liverpool to Be 'Proud' Despite Champions League Final Defeat," 27 May 2018 Chuck tries to nail Axe by placing a mole inside the firm, Axe catches on and volleys back with a devious riposte, Chuck steals Wendy’s session notes to gain secrets, Axe strikes back with threats, and so on and so on. Rachel Syme, The New Republic, ""Billions" reckons with the inflated egos and muddled ethics of Wall Street.," 24 Apr. 2018

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.

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First Known Use of riposte

1707, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for riposte

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

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Dictionary Entries near riposte

rip off


Ripon Falls


rip panel



Statistics for riposte

Last Updated

4 Jun 2019

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Time Traveler for riposte

The first known use of riposte was in 1707

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English Language Learners Definition of riposte

formal : a quick and clever reply

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More from Merriam-Webster on riposte

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with riposte

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for riposte

Nglish: Translation of riposte for Spanish Speakers

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characterized by aphorism

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