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[wit-uh-siz-uh m]
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  1. a witty remark or sentence.

Origin of witticism

1645–55; derivative of witty, modeled on criticism


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joke, jest, quip, sally, wisecrack.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

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.



  • 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.

British Dictionary definitions for witticism


  1. 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

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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