verb (used with object), out·wit·ted, out·wit·ting.

to get the better of by superior ingenuity or cleverness; outsmart: to outwit a dangerous opponent.
Archaic. to surpass in wisdom or knowledge.

Origin of outwit

First recorded in 1645–55; out- + wit1

Synonyms for outwit

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

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)

to get the better of by cunning or ingenuity
archaic to be of greater intelligence than
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.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper