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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 outwitting

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 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)
  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 outwitting



"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