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repartee

[rep-er-tee, -tey, -ahr-]
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noun
  1. a quick, witty reply.
  2. conversation full of such replies.
  3. skill in making such replies.
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Origin of repartee

1635–45; < French repartie retort, noun use of feminine past participle of repartir, Middle French, equivalent to re- re- + partir to part

Synonyms for repartee

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2. banter, sparring, fencing.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words for repartee

rejoinder, sarcasm, banter, retort, pleasantry, wordplay, badinage, humor, quip, irony, satire, comeback, riposte, answer, wit, reply, witticism, raillery, sally, response

Examples from the Web for repartee

Contemporary Examples of repartee

Historical Examples of repartee

  • They went on, repartee after repartee, as if inspired by each other's spirits.

  • He was quick at repartee, and his observations were gentle but pertinent.

    My Double Life

    Sarah Bernhardt

  • From the first, Alfred says, the old chap's only repartee was, 'You wait and you'll see!'

    Alice Adams

    Booth Tarkington

  • Yet he returned to earth long enough to indulge in a mild bit of repartee.

    Shavings

    Joseph C. Lincoln

  • Egon gave a laugh at his own repartee, but the Chancellor heard neither.

    The Princess Virginia

    C. N. Williamson


British Dictionary definitions for repartee

repartee

noun
  1. a sharp, witty, or aphoristic remark made as a reply
  2. terse rapid conversation consisting of such remarks
  3. skill in making sharp witty replies or conversation
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Word Origin for repartee

C17: from French repartie, from repartir to retort, from re- + partir to go away
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 repartee

n.

1640s, "quick remark," from French repartie "an answering blow or thrust" (originally a fencing term), noun use of fem. past participle of Old French repartir "to reply promptly, start out again," from re- "back" (see re-) + partir "to part, depart, start" (see part (n.)). In 17c. often spelled reparty (see -ee). Meaning "a series of sharp rejoinders exchanged" is from 1680s.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper