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[wit-lis] /ˈwɪt lɪs/
lacking wit or intelligence; stupid; foolish.
Origin of witless
before 1000; Middle English; Old English witlēas. See wit1, -less
Related forms
witlessly, adverb
witlessness, noun Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for witless
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • And all this witless piffle because of a quite natural misunderstanding of mine.

    Ruggles of Red Gap Harry Leon Wilson
  • Capering creatures, who behaved witlessly, yet were far from witless.

  • The wife of the “odious person” was witless and fatuously conceited.

    Chance Joseph Conrad
  • There was a witless vanity about my friend that sat on him almost like a virtue.

    John Splendid Neil Munro
  • But do not give your witless vanity a foolish airing before my chaplain.

    John Splendid Neil Munro
  • She began to be witless again, to wring her hands, to whimper and whine.

    Little Novels of Italy Maurice Henry Hewlett
  • Would he take a wander-thought to his bed, and have witless children?

    The Arrow-Maker Mary Austin
  • The man Lazarus is witless, he writes, of the relative value of all things.

British Dictionary definitions for witless


lacking wit, intelligence, or sense; stupid
Derived Forms
witlessly, adverb
witlessness, noun
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for witless

Old English witleas; see wit (n.) + -less. Phrase scared witless attested from 1975. Related: Witlessly; witlessness.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Slang definitions & phrases for witless


The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
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