wit·​ti·​cism | \ ˈwi-tə-ˌsi-zəm How to pronounce witticism (audio) \

Definition of witticism

: a cleverly witty and often biting or ironic remark

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Synonyms for witticism


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Examples of witticism in a Sentence

a collection of famous witticisms a drama critic who is best remembered for his biting witticisms
Recent Examples on the Web That's what passes for a sardonic witticism when the coronavirus pandemic is forcing the closure of countless barbershops and hair and nail salons across the country. Maria Puente, USA TODAY, "Coronavirus has some hairstylists making house calls: Your hair care questions answered," 20 Mar. 2020 His defense turned less on evidence than on a stream of witticisms that enchanted the Parisian public. Peter Schjeldahl, The New Yorker, "Dorothea Lange and Félix Fénéon at MOMA, and Online," 11 May 2020 The brothers, who originally came from Morocco, remained steady fixtures throughout, greeting me on my way to work, dispensing witticisms and advice, and peppering me with questions about a succession of American presidents. Liz Alderman, New York Times, "Departing: Two Shopkeepers, Their Cat and Part of Paris’s Soul," 22 Jan. 2020 Maggie Smith, Hugh Bonneville and Michelle Dockery are all set to return to their lacy ruffles with more cutting witticisms. Andrew R. Chow, Time, "The 32 Most Anticipated Movies of Fall 2019," 7 Aug. 2019 That witticism, now canonized as an American proverb, proved false in regards to the magazine the artist founded a half-century ago. Vogue, "Interview Magazine Celebrated 50 Years and a New Book With a Cocktail-Soaked Downtown Dinner," 30 Oct. 2019 The late journalist’s career and witticisms are smoothly encapsulated by veteran documentarian Janice Engel’s slick feature. Dennis Harvey, chicagotribune.com, "‘Raise Hell: The Life & Times of Molly Ivins’ review: a suitably entertaining tribute to a serious-minded and bluntly funny journalist," 12 Sep. 2019 Poets wanted Poets whose work ranges from Shakespearian sonnets to Dorothy Parker-like witticisms are invited to apply to be Santa Clara County’s next poet laureate. Anne Gelhaus, The Mercury News, "Campbell community briefs for the week of Aug. 23," 23 Aug. 2019 The hors d'oeuvres at Maum are always a little funny, though the execution of the components is clearly more considered than just a clever witticism of a snack. Soleil Ho, SFChronicle.com, "At Maum in Palo Alto, a tasting menu that celebrates Korean American classics," 8 Aug. 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'witticism.' 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 witticism

1651, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for witticism

witty + -cism (as in criticism)

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Time Traveler for witticism

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The first known use of witticism was in 1651

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Cite this Entry

“Witticism.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/witticism. Accessed 12 May. 2021.

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English Language Learners Definition of witticism

: a clever or funny remark

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