or ri·post



a quick, sharp return in speech or action; counterstroke: a brilliant riposte to an insult.
Fencing. a quick thrust given after parrying a lunge.

verb (used without object), ri·post·ed, ri·post·ing.

to make a riposte.
to reply or retaliate.

Origin of riposte

1700–10; < French, variant of risposte prompt answer < Italian risposta, noun use of feminine past participle of rispondere to answer < Vulgar Latin *respondere for Latin respondēre; see respond Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Related Words for riposte

maneuver, repartee, return, retort, thrust, reply

Examples from the Web for riposte

Contemporary Examples of riposte

Historical Examples of riposte

  • My attack had lured him, as I desired that it should, into making a riposte.

  • But he did not add that he had tried to deliver any riposte.

    On the Stairs

    Henry B. Fuller

  • May I venture to suggest to your Excellency that your riposte is more brilliant than safe?

    Prisoners of Hope

    Mary Johnston

  • I instantly replied by a riposte, but failed to catch him napping.

    The Great Quest

    Charles Boardman Hawes

  • Somehow, though, the riposte fell short of its expected result.

    Rich Man, Poor Man

    Maximilian Foster

British Dictionary definitions for riposte




a swift sharp reply in speech or action
fencing a counterattack made immediately after a successful parry


(intr) to make a riposte

Word Origin for riposte

C18: from French, from Italian risposta, from rispondere to reply, respond
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 riposte

1707, "a quick thrust after parrying a lunge," a fencing term, from French riposte, by dissimilation from risposte (17c.), from Italian risposta "a reply," noun use of fem. past participle of rispondere "to respond," from Latin respondere (see respond). Sense of "sharp retort; quick, sharp reply," is first attested 1865. As a verb, 1851.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper