wit·​less | \ ˈwit-ləs How to pronounce witless (audio) \

Definition of witless

1 : destitute of wit or understanding : foolish
2 : mentally deranged : crazy drive one witless with anxiety— William Styron

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Other Words from witless

witlessly adverb
witlessness noun

Examples of witless in a Sentence

He committed a witless blunder. a dog so witless that it is barely trainable
Recent Examples on the Web 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 So when the state opened eligibility to anyone old enough to drive, masses of Minnesotans logged onto vaccine appointment websites for the very first time, full of witless optimism. Star Tribune, 1 Apr. 2021 My favorite element, which mirrors my mystification at the matter-of-factness of the image, is an adorably witless donkey. Peter Schjeldahl, The New Yorker, 8 Feb. 2021 Outrage at the media, with journalists as unwitting (or witless) straight men, is a surefire GOP money-raiser. Jake Bernstein, The New York Review of Books, 8 Apr. 2020

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.

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First Known Use of witless

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

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

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Last Updated

20 Sep 2021

Cite this Entry

“Witless.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/witless. Accessed 27 Oct. 2021.

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More Definitions for witless



English Language Learners Definition of witless

: very foolish or stupid
: very much : very badly


wit·​less | \ ˈwit-ləs How to pronounce witless (audio) \

Kids Definition of witless

: lacking in wit or intelligence

More from Merriam-Webster on witless

Nglish: Translation of witless for Spanish Speakers


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