Definition of witty
1 archaic : having good intellectual capacity : intelligent
2 : amusingly or ingeniously clever in conception or execution the costumes are sumptuous and witty — Virgil Thomson the musical background is … often witty — Wolcott Gibbs
3 : marked by or full of clever humor or wit : smartly facetious or jocular a witty novel
4 : quick or ready to see or express illuminating or amusing relationships or insights a witty raconteur
wittilyplay \ˈwi-tə-lē\ adverb
wittinessplay \ˈwi-tē-nəs\ noun
Examples of witty in a Sentence
We'd kept everything witty and cool, until the air between us was so ironized that to say anything in earnest would have been a breach of manners, even of trust. —Tobias Wolff, Old School, 2003
… when she walked up to me and made a caustic remark on the principal's address of the morning, I couldn't help laughing, as she was obviously not only intelligent but very witty. —Margaret A. Edwards, The Fair Garden and the Swarm of Beasts, 1994
Yet for all his solemnity, Hamlet was also the play's and Shakespeare's wittiest wit, with as many one-liners as any comic in the whole canon. —Reed Whittemore, Pure Lives, 1988
a witty talk show host
a witty and sardonic blogger who never fails to amuse his legion of readers
Recent Examples of witty from the Web
Brockmann delivers a fresh story with witty characters that’s a great summer read.
But his signature look, witty repartee, and penchant for handing out solid smoking tips have made him a popular frequent guest judge.
And in both cases, scenes were repeatedly stolen by the angsty leads' witty brunette pals (a.k.a.
Rep. Adam Schiff discusses the challenges of Twitter, including how to say something meaningful or witty but not ill-advised in just 140 characters.
The five original letters, dated 1951 to 1954 and signed by Einstein, reveal a witty and sensitive side of the esteemed scientist.
Next to a potato, a Walla Walla sweet is an elusive, alluring superstar, the kind with both the witty repartee and the winning smile.
Robbins gave a witty, winking performance, first as the sly Cervantes, and then, kitted in tin breast plate and peaked helmet, as the fervent Quixote.
Having Denali narrate the film was smart, offering a sidelong but witty reveal of Moon's own vulnerabilities.
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.
witty and Wise
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”).
Synonym Discussion of witty
WITTY Defined for English Language Learners
Definition of witty for English Language Learners
: funny and clever
WITTY Defined for Kids
Definition of witty for Students
: having or showing cleverness a witty person a witty remark
Seen and Heard
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