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[wit-uh-siz-uh m] /ˈwɪt əˌsɪz əm/
a witty remark or sentence.
Origin of witticism
1645-55; derivative of witty, modeled on criticism
joke, jest, quip, sally, wisecrack. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for witticism
Historical Examples
  • This was apparently a witticism; at any rate, it elicited roars of laughter.

    The Village Watch-Tower (AKA Kate Douglas Riggs) Kate Douglas Wiggin
  • Aunt Agathe, always ready with a witticism, risked several jokes.

    The Flood Emile Zola
  • Urbanity he practised, not with jest and witticism, but by the courtesy of his demeanour.

    Agesilaus Xenophon
  • A grin of self-approval at his own witticism closed this speech.

    The Fortunes Of Glencore Charles James Lever
  • And deriving much comfort from this witticism, she went on her way.

  • He ought to have joined in the laugh, and rewarded Archy on the spot for so good a witticism.

    Charles I Jacob Abbott
  • Sheard laughed, treating the words as a witticism, and hurried away.

  • "It is only a witticism of Philip's, who has been in to see me," said Mrs. Dennistoun.

    The Marriage of Elinor Margaret Oliphant
  • He thought this was a capital joke, and followed his witticism with a laugh.

    Phoebe, Junior Mrs [Margaret] Oliphant
  • The moment he starts a witticism, it will be as if a bear of the Pyrenees were rope-walking.

    Quo Vadis Henryk Sienkiewicz
British Dictionary definitions for witticism


a clever or witty remark
Word Origin
C17: from witty; coined by Dryden (1677) by analogy with criticism
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 witticism

1670s, coined by Dryden from witty on model of criticism.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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