If I wist, said the queen, that he should not be with us here to-morn he should not go with you by my good will.
I have wist men that would do all these things, and more; because, forsooth, it was their duty!
Then at first Elose was confused and wist not where to look.
Mistress Cicely, too, is an honest woman that wist how to do her duty.
So he ran forth he wist not whither, and for a long while none of his kin wist what was become of him.
When Sir Bors saw that he must fight with his brother or else die, he wist not what to do.
Sweet-mouthed she was, and fair he wist; And again in the darksome wood they kissed.
Nay, cast my eyes in what direction I may wist, it is the same.
When Sir Tristram saw them coming upon him, then he wist well he might not endure.
I nodded back to him, for I wist what he meant, and drank with all my heart.
"to know" (archaic), c.1500, from Old English past tense of witan "to know" (cf. German wusste, past tense of wissen "to know"); see wit. Had-I-wiste was used c.1400-1550 in sense "regret for something done rashly or heedlessly;" see wist. Proverbial in expression Had-I-wiste cometh ever too late.
Haddywyst comyth euer to late Whan lewyd woordis beth owte y-spronge. ["Commonplace book" in Trinity College, Cambridge, c.1500]
"mental capacity," Old English wit, more commonly gewit, from Proto-Germanic *witjan (cf. Old Saxon wit, Old Norse vit, Danish vid, Swedish vett, Old Frisian wit, Old High German wizzi "knowledge, understanding, intelligence, mind," German Witz "wit, witticism, joke," Gothic unwiti "ignorance"), from PIE *woid-/*weid-/*wid- "to see," metaphorically "to know" (see vision). Related to Old English witan "to know" (source of wit (v.)). Meaning "ability to make clever remarks in an amusing way" is first recorded 1540s; that of "person of wit or learning" is from late 15c. For nuances of usage, see humor.
A witty saying proves nothing. [Voltaire, Diner du Comte de Boulainvilliers]
Wit ought to be five or six degrees above the ideas that form the intelligence of an audience. [Stendhal, "Life of Henry Brulard"]
"know," Old English witan "to know," from Proto-Germanic *witanan "to have seen," hence "to know" (cf. Old Saxon witan, Old Norse vita, Old Frisian wita, Middle Dutch, Dutch weten, Old High German wizzan, German wissen, Gothic witan "to know"); see wit (n.). The phrase to wit, almost the only surviving use of the verb, is first recorded 1570s, from earlier that is to wit (mid-14c.), probably a loan-translation of Anglo-French cestasavoir, used to render Latin videlicet (see viz.).