wit


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wit 1

 (wĭt)
n.
1.
a. The natural ability to perceive and understand; intelligence.
b. often wits Practical intelligence; shrewdness or resourcefulness: living by one's wits.
c. wits Sound mental faculties; sanity: scared out of my wits.
2.
a. The ability to express oneself intelligently in a playful or humorous manner, often in overturning audience expectations: a writer with a scintillating wit.
b. A person noted for this ability, especially in conversation: "My mother, the family wit and teaser, knew better than to joke about the disaster" (Donald Hall).
c. Intelligent playfulness or humor in expression, as in speech, writing, or art: novels known for their wit and inventiveness.
d. A person of exceptional intelligence.
Idioms:
at (one's) wits' end
At the limit of one's mental resources; utterly at a loss.
have/keep (one's) wits about (one)
To remain alert or calm, especially in a crisis.

[Middle English, from Old English; see weid- in Indo-European roots.]

wit 2

 (wĭt)
v. wist (wĭst), wit·ting (wĭt′ĭng), first and third person singular present tense wot (wŏt) Archaic
v.tr.
To be or become aware of; learn.
v.intr.
To know.
Idiom:
to wit
That is to say; namely.

[Middle English, from Old English witan; see weid- in Indo-European roots.]

wit

(wɪt)
n
1. (Literary & Literary Critical Terms) the talent or quality of using unexpected associations between contrasting or disparate words or ideas to make a clever humorous effect
2. (Literary & Literary Critical Terms) speech or writing showing this quality
3. (Literary & Literary Critical Terms) a person possessing, showing, or noted for such an ability, esp in repartee
4. practical intelligence (esp in the phrase have the wit to)
5. dialect Scot and Northern English information or knowledge (esp in the phrase get wit of)
6. archaic mental capacity or a person possessing it
7. obsolete the mind or memory
[Old English witt; related to Old Saxon giwitt, Old High German wizzi (German Witz), Old Norse vit, Gothic witi. See wit2]

wit

(wɪt)
vb
archaic to be or become aware of (something)
adv
(Law) to wit that is to say; namely (used to introduce statements, as in legal documents)
[Old English witan; related to Old High German wizzan (German wissen), Old Norse vita, Latin vidēre to see]

wit1

(wɪt)

n.
1. the keen perception and clever expression of those connections between ideas that awaken amusement and pleasure.
2. a person having or noted for such perception and expression.
3. witty speech or writing.
4. understanding, intelligence, or sagacity; astuteness.
5. Usu., wits.
a. shrewdness; resourcefulness; ingenuity: to live by one's wits.
b. mental faculties; senses: to have one's wits about one.
Idioms:
at one's wit's or wits' end, drained of all ideas or mental resources; utterly confused or frustrated.
[before 900; Middle English, Old English: mind, thought, c. Old Frisian, Old Saxon wit, Old High German wizzi]
syn: See humor.

wit2

(wɪt)

v.t., v.i. past and past part. wist; pres. part. wit•ting.
Archaic. to know.
Idioms:
to wit, that is to say; namely: an overwhelming victory, to wit, a landslide.
[before 900; Middle English; Old English witan, c. Old Saxon, Gothic witan, Old High German wizzan, Old Norse vita; akin to Latin vidēre, Greek ideîn to see, Skt vidati (he) knows]

Wit

 

See Also: CLEVERNESS, HUMOR, WISDOM

  1. As much wit as three folks, two fools and a madman —Thomas Fuller
  2. One wit, like a knuckle of ham in soup, gives a zest and flavor to the dish, but more than one serves only to spoil the pottage —Tobias Smollett
  3. Satire is a sort of glass, wherein beholders do generally discover everybody’s face but their own —Jonathan Swift
  4. Sharp wits, like sharp knives, do often cut their owner’s fingers —Aaron Arrowsmith
  5. Wit and wisdom are like the seven stars, seldom seen together —Thomas Fuller
  6. Wit is as infinite as love —Agnes Repplier

    Repplier built on her simile with “And a deal more lasting in its qualities.”

  7. Wit … like a quick-flashing blade —Henry James
  8. Wit … like champagne, not only sparkles, but is sweet —Benjamin Disraeli
  9. Wit, like money, bears an extra value when rung down as soon as it’s wanted —Douglas Jerrold
  10. Wit must grow like fingers —John Selden
  11. Wit … penetrates through the coldness and awkwardness of society, gradually bringing men nearer together, and, like the combined force of wine and oil, giving every man a glad heart and a shining countenance —Sydney Smith
  12. Wit, without learning, is like a tree which bears no fruit —Aristippus
  13. Wit, without wisdom, is like a song without sense; it does not please long —Josh Billings

wit


Past participle: wist
Gerund: witting

Imperative
wit
wit
Present
I wit
you wit
he/she/it wot
we wit
you wit
they wit
Preterite
I wist
you wist
he/she/it wist
we wist
you wist
they wist
Present Continuous
I am witting
you are witting
he/she/it is witting
we are witting
you are witting
they are witting
Present Perfect
I have wist
you have wist
he/she/it has wist
we have wist
you have wist
they have wist
Past Continuous
I was witting
you were witting
he/she/it was witting
we were witting
you were witting
they were witting
Past Perfect
I had wist
you had wist
he/she/it had wist
we had wist
you had wist
they had wist
Future
I will wit
you will wit
he/she/it will wit
we will wit
you will wit
they will wit
Future Perfect
I will have wist
you will have wist
he/she/it will have wist
we will have wist
you will have wist
they will have wist
Future Continuous
I will be witting
you will be witting
he/she/it will be witting
we will be witting
you will be witting
they will be witting
Present Perfect Continuous
I have been witting
you have been witting
he/she/it has been witting
we have been witting
you have been witting
they have been witting
Future Perfect Continuous
I will have been witting
you will have been witting
he/she/it will have been witting
we will have been witting
you will have been witting
they will have been witting
Past Perfect Continuous
I had been witting
you had been witting
he/she/it had been witting
we had been witting
you had been witting
they had been witting
Conditional
I would wit
you would wit
he/she/it would wit
we would wit
you would wit
they would wit
Past Conditional
I would have wist
you would have wist
he/she/it would have wist
we would have wist
you would have wist
they would have wist
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Noun1.wit - a message whose ingenuity or verbal skill or incongruity has the power to evoke laughterwit - a message whose ingenuity or verbal skill or incongruity has the power to evoke laughter
subject matter, content, message, substance - what a communication that is about something is about
jeu d'esprit - a witty comment or writing
bon mot, mot - a clever remark
esprit de l'escalier - a witty remark that occurs to you too late
pungency, bite - wit having a sharp and caustic quality; "he commented with typical pungency"; "the bite of satire"
caustic remark, irony, sarcasm, satire - witty language used to convey insults or scorn; "he used sarcasm to upset his opponent"; "irony is wasted on the stupid"; "Satire is a sort of glass, wherein beholders do generally discover everybody's face but their own"--Jonathan Swift
repartee - adroitness and cleverness in reply
gag, jape, jest, joke, laugh - a humorous anecdote or remark intended to provoke laughter; "he told a very funny joke"; "he knows a million gags"; "thanks for the laugh"; "he laughed unpleasantly at his own jest"; "even a schoolboy's jape is supposed to have some ascertainable point"
caricature, impersonation, imitation - a representation of a person that is exaggerated for comic effect
cartoon, sketch - a humorous or satirical drawing published in a newspaper or magazine
fun, sport, play - verbal wit or mockery (often at another's expense but not to be taken seriously); "he became a figure of fun"; "he said it in sport"
ribaldry - ribald humor
topper - an exceedingly good witticism that surpasses all that have gone before
libation - (facetious) a serving of an alcoholic beverage
roaster - a harsh or humorous critic (sometimes intended as a facetious compliment); "the honoree gave his roasters as good as he got"
2.wit - mental abilitywit - mental ability; "he's got plenty of brains but no common sense"
intelligence - the ability to comprehend; to understand and profit from experience
3.wit - a witty amusing person who makes jokeswit - a witty amusing person who makes jokes
colloquialism - a colloquial expression; characteristic of spoken or written communication that seeks to imitate informal speech
humorist, humourist - someone who acts speaks or writes in an amusing way

wit

noun
2. humorist, card (informal), comedian, wag, joker, dag (N.Z. informal), punster, farceur (French), epigrammatist a man who fancied himself as a great wit
3. (often plural) cleverness, mind, reason, understanding, sense, brains, smarts (slang, chiefly U.S.), judgment, perception, wisdom, insight, common sense, intellect, comprehension, ingenuity, acumen, nous (Brit. slang), discernment, practical intelligence The information is there for anyone with the wit to use it.
cleverness ignorance, folly, stupidity, foolishness, silliness, obtuseness, lack of perception
at your wits' end in despair, lost, stuck (informal), stumped, baffled, bewildered, at a loss, at the end of your tether I just can't think what to do - I'm at my wits' end.
Quotations
"True wit is nature to advantage dress'd,"
"What oft was thought, but ne'er so well expressed" [Alexander Pope An Essay on Criticism]
"Brevity is the soul of wit" [William Shakespeare Hamlet]
"Next to being witty yourself, the best thing is being able to quote another's wit" [Christian N. Bovee]
"Wit is the epitaph of an emotion" [Friedrich Nietzsche Menschliches, Allzumenschliches]

wit

noun
1. The faculty of thinking, reasoning, and acquiring and applying knowledge:
Slang: smart (used in plural).
3. A healthy mental state.Used in plural:
lucidity, lucidness, mind, reason, saneness, sanity, sense (often used in plural), soundness.
Slang: marble (used in plural).
5. A person whose words or actions provoke or are intended to provoke amusement or laughter:
Informal: card.
Translations
بَديهَه، فِطْنَهفِطْنَةمِزاج مَرِح، خِفَّة دَم
důvtipvtip
vidder skal til
nokkeluussukkeluussutkaus
bon sensespriteutrapéliemot d’espritmot d'esprit
domišljatost
szellemes ember
fyndni, hnyttniorîheppinn maîurskynsemi
機知
재치
gudrumu pelnytis duonąmirtinai kąneprarasti galvos-protosąmojinga pastaba
apķērībaasprātībaasprātisatjautībaatjautīgs cilvēks
schepsis
vtipný človek
duhovitost
intellekt
คำพูดหรือข้อเขียนที่แสดงเชาน์ปัญญา
sự hóm hỉnh

wit

1 [wɪt] N
1. (= understanding) → inteligencia f
a battle of witsuna contienda entre dos inteligencias
to collect one's witsreconcentrarse
to be at one's wits' endno saber qué hacer, estar desesperado
to gather one's witsreconcentrarse
to have or keep one's wits about oneno perder la cabeza
he hadn't the wit to see thatno tenía bastante inteligencia para comprender que ...
to live by one's witsvivir del cuento
to be out of one's witsestar fuera de sí
to be frightened or scared out of one's witsestar profundamente asustado
to sharpen one's witsaguzar el ingenio, despabilarse
to use one's witsusar su sentido común
2. (= humour, wittiness) → ingenio m, agudeza f
in a flash of wit he saiden un golpe de ingenio dijo ...
to have a ready witser ingenioso
the wit and wisdom of Joe Soaplas agudezas y sabiduría de Joe Soap
a story told without witun cuento narrado sin gracia
3. (= person) → persona f ingeniosa (Hist) → ingenio m
an Elizabethan witun ingenio de la época isabelina

wit

2 [wɪt] N (frm) (also Jur) to wita saber ..., esto es ...

wit

[ˈwɪt]
n
(= wittiness) → esprit m
The girl laughed at his wit
BUT La fille riait de ses traits d'esprits.
with great wit → avec beaucoup d'esprit
(= witty man) → homme m d'esprit (= witty woman) → femme f d'esprit
(= intelligence) → présence f d'esprit
to have the wit to do sth → avoir la présence d'esprit de faire qch
to wit advà savoir wits
npl
(= ability to think quickly) → tête f
to use one's wits to do sth → se servir de sa tête pour faire qch
to have one's wits about one → avoir toute sa tête
to keep one's wits about one → garder la tête sur les épaules
to pit one's wits against sb → rivaliser d'esprit avec qn
to be at one's wits' end → ne plus savoir que faire

wit

1
vi (old Jur) to witnämlich, und zwar

wit

2
n
(= understanding)Verstand m; beyond the wit of manüber den menschlichen Verstand or Horizont hinaus; a battle of witsein geistiges Kräftemessen; to be at one’s wits’ endam Ende seiner Weisheit sein, mit seinem Latein am Ende sein (hum inf); I was at my wits’ end (to find a solution)ich wusste mir keinen Rat or Ausweg mehr(, wie ich eine Lösung finden könnte); to drive somebody out of his witsjdn um seinen Verstand bringen; to lose one’s witsden or seinen Verstand verlieren; to collect one’s witsseine fünf Sinne (wieder) zusammennehmen; to frighten or scare somebody out of his witsjdn zu Tode erschrecken; to be frightened or scared out of one’s witszu Tode erschreckt sein; to have or keep one’s wits about oneseine (fünf) Sinne zusammen- or beisammenhaben, einen klaren Kopf haben; to sharpen one’s witsseinen Verstand schärfen; to use one’s witsseinen Verstand gebrauchen, sein Köpfchen or seinen Grips anstrengen (inf); to live by or on one’s witssich schlau or klug durchs Leben schlagen
(= humour, wittiness)Geist m, → Witz m; full of witgeistreich; the book is full of wites ist sehr viel Geistreiches in dem Buch
(= person)geistreicher Kopf

wit

[wɪt] n
a. (understanding, gen pl) → intelligenza
native wit → buon senso
to be at one's wits' end → avere esaurito tutte le risorse, non sapere più che fare
to have or keep one's wits about one → avere presenza di spirito
use your wits! → usa il cervello!
to live by one's wits → vivere di espedienti
to collect one's wits → rimettersi in sesto
to be frightened or scared out of one's wits → essere spaventato/a a morte
b. (humour, wittiness) → spirito, arguzia
c. (person) → persona arguta, bello spirito
d. (namely) to witcioè

wit

(wit) noun
1. humour; the ability to express oneself in an amusing way. His plays are full of wit; I admire his wit.
2. a person who expresses himself in a humorous way, tells jokes etc. He's a great wit.
3. common sense, inventiveness etc. He did not have the wit to defend himself.
ˈwitless adjective
crazy, stupid etc.
-witted
having understanding or intelligence of a certain kind. quick-/sharp-witted.
ˈwitticism (-sizəm) noun
a witty remark etc.
ˈwitty adjective
clever and amusing. a witty person; witty remarks.
ˈwittily adverb
ˈwittiness noun
at one's wits' end
utterly confused and desperate.
keep one's wits about one
to be cautious, alert and watchful.
live by one's wits
to live by cunning rather than by hard work.
(frighten/scare) out of one's wits
(to frighten) (almost) to the point of madness. The sight of the gun in his hand scared me out of my wits.

wit

فِطْنَة důvtip vid geistige Wendigkeit ευστροφία ingenio nokkeluus esprit domišljatost arguzia 機知 재치 scherpzinnigheid vett dowcip perspicácia остроумие intellekt คำพูดหรือข้อเขียนที่แสดงเชาน์ปัญญา nükte sự hóm hỉnh 智力
References in classic literature ?
I declare, it really seems like being a fine young lady, to come home from the party in a carriage and sit in my dressing gown wit a maid to wait on me," said Meg, as Jo bound up her foot with arnica and brushed her hair.
He who wishes to prosper in Indian warfare," returned the scout, "must not be too proud to learn from the wit of a native.
Pictures of life, scenes of passion or sentiment, wit, humor, and pathos, were all thrown away, or worse than thrown away, on Clifford; either because he lacked an experience by which to test their truth, or because his own griefs were a touch-stone of reality that few feigned emotions could withstand.
There are certain queer times and occasions in this strange mixed affair we call life when a man takes this whole universe for a vast practical joke, though the wit thereof he but dimly discerns, and more than suspects that the joke is at nobody's expense but his own.
These pleadings, and the counter pleadings, being duly heard, the very learned judge in set terms decided, to wit, --That as for the boat, he awarded it to the plaintiffs, because they had merely abandoned it to save their lives; but that with regard to the controverted whale, harpoons, and line, they belonged to the defendants; the whale, because it was a Loose-Fish at the time of the final capture; and the harpoons and line because when the fish made off with them, it (the fish) acquired a property in those articles; and hence anybody who afterwards took the fish had a right to them.
He had no wit to trace back the social crime to its far sources-- he could not say that it was the thing men have called "the system" that was crushing him to the earth that it was the packers, his masters, who had bought up the law of the land, and had dealt out their brutal will to him from the seat of justice.
The man whistled to the boy, and offered him part of a stick of candy, which he eagerly grabbed at, and very soon had it in a baby's general depository, to wit, his mouth.
They may be men of a certain experience and discrimination, and have no doubt invented ingenious and even useful systems, for which we sincerely thank them; but all their wit and usefulness lie within certain not very wide limits.
Then the king begins to work his jaw again, and says how him and his nieces would be glad if a few of the main principal friends of the family would take supper here with them this evening, and help set up with the ashes of the diseased; and says if his poor brother laying yonder could speak he knows who he would name, for they was names that was very dear to him, and mentioned often in his letters; and so he will name the same, to wit, as follows, vizz.
This idle and aimless jabber went on and on, both parties enjoying the friendly duel and each well satisfied with his own share of the wit exchanged--for wit they considered it.
If "nobleness enkindleth nobleness," so does enthusiasm beget enthusiasm, and so do wit and talent enkindle wit and talent.
As a public speaker, he excels in pathos, wit, comparison, imitation, strength of reasoning, and fluency of language.