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


boff (or boffo), boffola, crack, drollery, funny, gag, giggle [chiefly British], jape, jest, joke, josh, laugh, nifty, one-liner, pleasantry, quip, rib, sally, waggery, wisecrack, yuk (or yuck) [slang]

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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

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The poet, essayist and novelist is the mind behind the popular Twitter account, @SoSadToday, which serves as an archive of Broder’s somber, self-deprecating witticisms about depression, anxiety, addiction and loneliness. NBC News, "Obsessed with 'Fleabag', 'Big Little Lies' or 'Chernobyl'? Binge on one of these books next.," 24 June 2019 His hero, mentor and friend was the late Chronicle columnist Herb Caen, who printed many of Bellingham’s observations and witticism over the years and whose style clearly influenced Bellingham, down to the use of the ellipsis — or three dots. Steve Rubenstein, San Francisco Chronicle, "Memorial set for Bruce Bellingham, newspaper columnist, master of the one-liner," 13 June 2018 Beyond such witticisms, the European cloister setting heightens the sensation of reverence. Rhonda Garelick, The Cut, "The Met’s ‘Heavenly Bodies’ Show Is Worth the Pilgrimage," 10 May 2018 This approach creates a few dry patches, namely every time Wilde provides little but witticisms to carry a scene. Justin Hayford, Chicago Reader, "A new production of An Ideal Husband humanizes Oscar Wilde," 13 Apr. 2018 Here, a selection of Bush's most quotable wisdom and witticisms. Lauren Hubbard, Town & Country, "10 Quotes from Barbara Bush That Will Inspire You," 17 Apr. 2018 The problem with Oscar Wilde's 1895 potboiler An Ideal Husband is precisely the thing for which its author is routinely praised: its flood of exquisite witticisms. Justin Hayford, Chicago Reader, "A new production of An Ideal Husband humanizes Oscar Wilde," 13 Apr. 2018 The internet was instantly enchanted by Alice’s talents, with many taking to Twitter to praise her on-point witticisms. Megan Mccluskey, Time, "The Internet Can’t Stop Laughing at This 9-Year-Old Girl’s Cartoon Captions," 5 Apr. 2018 Both fierce and folksy, Huggins commands a press conference like Bill Parcells, capable of cutting up reporters with a witticism or cutting them down with a rebuke. Christopher L. Gasper, BostonGlobe.com, "A mellower Bob Huggins still winning big at West Virginia," 22 Mar. 2018

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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Statistics for witticism

Last Updated

8 Jul 2019

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Time Traveler for witticism

The first known use of witticism was in 1651

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More Definitions for witticism



English Language Learners Definition of witticism

: a clever or funny remark

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More from Merriam-Webster on witticism

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with witticism

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for witticism

Spanish Central: Translation of witticism

Nglish: Translation of witticism for Spanish Speakers

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