Synonym Chooser

How does the noun repartee differ from other similar words?

Some common synonyms of repartee are humor, irony, sarcasm, satire, and wit. While all these words mean "a mode of expression intended to arouse amusement," repartee implies the power of answering quickly, pointedly, or wittily.

a dinner guest noted for repartee

When could humor be used to replace repartee?

The synonyms humor and repartee are sometimes interchangeable, but humor implies an ability to perceive the ludicrous, the comical, and the absurd in human life and to express these usually without bitterness.

a sense of humor

Where would irony be a reasonable alternative to repartee?

While the synonyms irony and repartee are close in meaning, irony applies to a manner of expression in which the intended meaning is the opposite of what is seemingly expressed.

the irony of the title

When would sarcasm be a good substitute for repartee?

In some situations, the words sarcasm and repartee are roughly equivalent. However, sarcasm applies to expression frequently in the form of irony that is intended to cut or wound.

given to heartless sarcasm

When might satire be a better fit than repartee?

The meanings of satire and repartee largely overlap; however, satire applies to writing that exposes or ridicules conduct, doctrines, or institutions either by direct criticism or more often through irony, parody, or caricature.

a satire on the Congress

When is wit a more appropriate choice than repartee?

While in some cases nearly identical to repartee, wit suggests the power to evoke laughter by remarks showing verbal felicity or ingenuity and swift perception especially of the incongruous.

a playful wit

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Cite this Entry

“Repartee.” Merriam-Webster.com Thesaurus, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/thesaurus/repartee. Accessed 21 Jul. 2024.

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