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 outwitting

Contemporary Examples of outwitting

Historical Examples of outwitting

  • What made her smile was the idea of outwitting that spy of a Justin.

  • She was quite capable of outwitting him if she could only get a clue to this.

    Luttrell Of Arran

    Charles James Lever

  • He is not nearly so smart as Lightfoot in outwitting hunters.

  • But there was zest in this outwitting of men who would have defrauded the settlers if they could.

    Land of the Burnt Thigh

    Edith Eudora Kohl

  • Little dreamt they why he was treating them to the spectacle, or how cleverly he was outwitting them.

    The Free Lances

    Mayne Reid

British Dictionary definitions for outwitting


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 outwitting



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

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper