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 outwitted

Historical Examples of outwitted

  • There had been a conspiracy against him; he was outwitted, robbed, befooled.

    Fair Margaret

    H. Rider Haggard

  • Dorcas watched her, annoyed, and yet quite helpless; she was outwitted, and she knew it.

    Meadow Grass

    Alice Brown

  • We trusted the sheriff last night, and he outwitted us; we must not trust him again.

  • And yet he was aware that she had outwitted him and gained his secret.

  • He saw that he was outwitted, that he was helpless, that he was even in personal danger.

    The Manxman

    Hall Caine

British Dictionary definitions for outwitted


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 outwitted



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

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper