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

Keep scrolling for more

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

An opening sequence sets the film's terror-thriller tone by sending witless corporate goons to retrieve a fossil. Sam Machkovech, Ars Technica, "Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom review: This nonsense has gone full Sharknado," 22 June 2018 Conversation is limited to witless small talk about the weather. Rena Gross, Billboard, "12 Big Revelations From 'Handmaid's Tale' Season 2, Episode 7," 30 May 2018 But it it is also rooted in French soil, where anti-Semitism — even von Trier's bumbling, halfhearted, witless excuse for anti-Semitism — is not something taken lightly. Justin Chang, latimes.com, "Lars von Trier’s ‘The House That Jack Built’ and Spike Lee’s ‘BlacKkKlansman’ make for a night of provocation in Cannes," 15 May 2018 More than 8,000 people gathered in Birmingham for a common cause: not to trade barbs and witless repartee, but to celebrate the game that they (we) all love. Vlad Savov, The Verge, "Going to an e-sport event is like traveling back to the time when people followed sports for the sport," 30 May 2018 The hapless and witless stars of the show are trying to escape the clutches of a pursuing demon. Paul Cappiello, The Courier-Journal, "What to do when the dreaded Callery pear tree rears its head in Kentucky," 23 Mar. 2018 Scott Rubin was asked to write jokes for National Lampoon’s Strip Poker, a witless pay-per-view series featuring Kaelin and a group of lovelies (including Olivia Munn, then known as Lisa) at the Hedonism II nudist resort in Jamaica. Benjamin Wallace, HWD, "Can Anyone Repair National Lampoon’s Devastated Brand?," 1 May 2017 Think back on the pathetic rollout of the travel ban, the witless legal defenses, and the serial losses at the courts of appeals. Dahlia Lithwick, Slate Magazine, "Trump’s election commission has been a disaster. It’s going exactly as planned.," 12 July 2017 The Gunners often struggle on the road against the top teams in the Premier League, and their witless outing in their 4-0 thrashing at the hands of Liverpool may well give their fans reason to be pessimistic ahead of Sunday's big game. SI.com, "Chelsea vs Arsenal Preview: Classic Encounter, Team News, Predicted Lineups & More," 16 Sep. 2017

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.

See More

First Known Use of witless

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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about witless

Dictionary Entries near witless








Statistics for witless

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for witless

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

See more words from the same century

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for witless



English Language Learners Definition of witless

: very foolish or stupid
informal : very much : very badly


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

Kids Definition of witless

: lacking in wit or intelligence

Keep scrolling for more

More from Merriam-Webster on witless

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for witless

Spanish Central: Translation of witless

Nglish: Translation of witless for Spanish Speakers

Comments on witless

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


a strong desire or propensity

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Challenging Vocabulary Quiz Returns!

  • stylized drawing of woman pole vaulting across gap to get trophy
  • Which is a synonym of fuliginous?
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!


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

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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