wit·​less ˈwit-ləs How to pronounce witless (audio)
: destitute of wit or understanding : foolish
: mentally deranged : crazy
drive one witless with anxietyWilliam Styron
witlessly adverb
witlessness noun

Example Sentences

He committed a witless blunder. a dog so witless that it is barely trainable
Recent Examples on the Web Which are all necessary to distract from such toothless inside-baseball Hollywood satire, such witless, outdated pandemic observation and the sheer Saharan humor desert that is the dialogue. Jessica Kiang, Los Angeles Times, 2 Apr. 2022 The bombastic Mayor Shinn of Jefferson Mays and overdecorated Mrs. Shinn of Jayne Houdyshell are turned into veritable sight gags; Shuler Hensley’s Marcellus, Hill’s confederate, is made to appear a witless errand boy. Washington Post, 11 Feb. 2022 But he’s not always in control of his material, including some cheap shots that slide into witless sexism. New York Times, 23 Dec. 2021 Green has made exactly the kind of witless, worthless sequel that bled the franchise dry in the 1980s and '90s.... Joey Nolfi, EW.com, 9 Sep. 2021 Evil peasants, dead ignorant, witless mud-wallowers, emmerdeurs, smugglers, thieves. Ew Staff, EW.com, 3 Aug. 2021 This would be a very smart game plan for someone who has no real facts and is hoping someone else will be witless enough to out their own secret scheming. Ariana Romero, refinery29.com, 15 June 2021 Once again, witless pundits, economists and politicians don’t understand what’s happening. John Tamny, Forbes, 6 June 2021 The picture is slick but dull, glitzy but witless, expensively boring. Kyle Smith, National Review, 27 May 2021 See More

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

Word History

First Known Use

before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of witless was before the 12th century

Dictionary Entries Near witless




Cite this Entry

“Witless.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/witless. Accessed 24 Mar. 2023.

Kids Definition


wit·​less ˈwit-ləs How to pronounce witless (audio)
: lacking wit : foolish
witlessly adverb
witlessness noun

More from Merriam-Webster on witless

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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

Which Came First?

  • baby chick with a brown egg
  • hot take or cold shoulder?
True or False

Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something along the way.

Solve today's spelling word game by finding as many words as you can with using just 7 letters. Longer words score more points.

Can you make 12 words with 7 letters?