esprit de l'escalier

[ es-preeduhle-skahl-yey ]
/ ɛsˈpri də lɛˈskɑl yeɪ /

noun French.

a perfect comeback or witty remark that one frustratingly comes up with only when the moment for doing so has passed: Writers, by nature, tend to be people in whom l' esprit de l'escalier is a recurrent experience.

QUIZZES

FOR LEXICAL ALIMENTATION, TAKE THIS WORD OF THE DAY QUIZ!

Nourish your vocabulary with a refresher on the words from the week of September 14–20, 2020!
Question 1 of 7
What does “blatherskite” mean?

Origin of esprit de l'escalier

First recorded in 1905–10; literally, “wit of the staircase” (i.e., after one has left the gathering)

Words nearby esprit de l'escalier

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2020