Definition of witty
- a witty novel
- a witty raconteur
- the costumes are sumptuous and witty
- —Virgil Thomson
- the musical background is … often witty
- —Wolcott Gibbs
a witty talk show host
a witty and sardonic blogger who never fails to amuse his legion of readers
These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'witty.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.
When we call someone witty, we are typically ascribing to them the quality of clever humor. This has not always been the case: witty (and the word it is formed from, wit) originally referred to intelligence or good judgment. Although the “mentally capable” meaning of witty has largely become obsolete, we still see vestiges of it in various expressions involving wit, such as wit and wisdom or out of one’s wits. Another phrase, to wit, meaning “that is, namely,” comes directly from the Middle English to witen (“to know”).
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