witless

adjective

wit·​less ˈwit-ləs How to pronounce witless (audio)
1
: lacking wit or understanding : foolish
2
: mentally unsound
… drive one witless with anxiety.William Styron
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 Police believed the perpetrators were the yakuza, who were irked by Itami’s portrayal of them as witless bullies outsmarted by a cunning attorney (played by Itami’s actress wife Nobuko Miyamoto, who starred in all of his films) in Minbo. Jessica Wang, EW.com, 22 Dec. 2023 Ayer does a more-than-decent job directing the action scenes, which is what matters most with such a witless genre entry. Peter Debruge, Variety, 10 Jan. 2024 Based on the 1975 film Monty Python and the Holy Grail, a classic send-up of King Arthur and his witless band of knights, this 2005 hit musical, which garnered a pre-Chez Diaz Sara Ramirez a Tony, will land at the St. James Theatre this fall. Christopher Barnard, Vogue, 3 Aug. 2023 Tottenham’s players volunteering to reimburse those fans who had made the long journey to Newcastle — only to see their hapless, witless team fall 5-0 behind after 21 minutes — for the price of their tickets is a gesture rooted in the very finest of intentions. Rory Smith, New York Times, 28 Apr. 2023 Our intolerable situation forces us to welcome such witless dolts to our side. Ana Marie Cox, The New Republic, 3 Apr. 2023 How to Lose Friends & Alienate People is witless. Matthew Jacobs, Vulture, 2 Dec. 2021 Which are all necessary to distract from such toothless inside-baseball Hollywood satire, such witless, outdated pandemic observation and the sheer Saharan humor desert that is the dialogue.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

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'witless.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

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 22 Jun. 2024.

Kids Definition

witless

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

More from Merriam-Webster on witless

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