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verb (used with object), out·wit·ted, out·wit·ting.
  1. to get the better of by superior ingenuity or cleverness; outsmart: to outwit a dangerous opponent.
  2. Archaic. to surpass in wisdom or knowledge.
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Origin of outwit

First recorded in 1645–55; out- + wit1

Synonyms for outwit

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Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words for outwit

deceive, outfox, outmaneuver, cheat, gull, confuse, hoax, have, circumvent, defraud, trick, bewilder, outsmart, top, finagle, bamboozle, beat, baffle, overreach, worst

Examples from the Web for outwit

Contemporary Examples of outwit

Historical Examples of outwit

  • How it swells my pride, to have been able to outwit such a vigilant charmer!

    Clarissa, Volume 3 (of 9)

    Samuel Richardson

  • And there for a while they sat discussing plans to outwit the enemy and draw his sting.

    The Vagrant Duke

    George Gibbs

  • To outwit them was his first thought, but he must defeat their ends if it cost him his life.

    The Golden Woman

    Ridgwell Cullum

  • A mere chit of a girl should not outwit him in that fashion.

    Jolly Sally Pendleton

    Laura Jean Libbey

  • To outwit these enemies both of the Laniers and her husband must disappear.

    Oswald Langdon

    Carson Jay Lee

British Dictionary definitions for outwit


verb -wits, -witting or -witted (tr)
  1. to get the better of by cunning or ingenuity
  2. archaic to be of greater intelligence than
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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 outwit


"to get the better of by superior wits," 1650s, from out + wit. Related: Outwitted; outwitting.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper