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twit1

[twit]
verb (used with object), twit·ted, twit·ting.
  1. to taunt, tease, ridicule, etc., with reference to anything embarrassing; gibe at.
  2. to reproach or upbraid.
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noun
  1. an act of twitting.
  2. a derisive reproach; taunt; gibe.
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Origin of twit1

1520–30; aphetic variant of obsolete atwite, Middle English atwiten, Old English ætwītan to taunt, equivalent to æt- at1 + wītan to blame
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words

raglaughderidejesttakeoffrallyjollyribcaricaturejapejoshquizlampoonhazetravestypanscornhumiliatepooh-poohbanter

Examples from the Web for twitted

Contemporary Examples

Historical Examples

  • Here is a vain person, and Malvolio is imprisoned and twitted by a clown.

  • Mathieu began to laugh, and twitted the Angelins on having no child of their own.

    Fruitfulness

    Emile Zola

  • But the Asas besought him to give way, while Loki twitted him with cowardice.

    Told by the Northmen:

    E. M. [Ethel Mary] Wilmot-Buxton

  • "You have been reading pseudo-science, Dr. Pillbot," he twitted.

    The 4-D Doodler

    Graph Waldeyer

  • But so long as he lived the schoolmaster was twitted about the lady who threw him over.

    Auld Licht Idylls

    J. M. Barrie


British Dictionary definitions for twitted

twit1

verb twits, twitting or twitted
  1. (tr) to tease, taunt, or reproach, often in jest
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noun
  1. US and Canadian informal a nervous or excitable state
  2. rare a reproach; taunt
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Word Origin

Old English ætwītan, from æt against + wītan to accuse; related to Old High German wīzan to punish

twit2

noun
  1. informal, mainly British a foolish or stupid person; idiot
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Word Origin

C19: from twit 1 (originally in the sense: a person given to twitting)
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 twitted

twit

v.

1520s, shortened form of atwite, from Old English ætwitan "to blame, reproach," from æt "at" + witan "to blame," from Proto-Germanic *witanan (cf. Old English wite, Old Saxon witi, Old Norse viti "punishment, torture;" Old High German wizzi "punishment," wizan "to punish;" Dutch verwijten, Old High German firwizan, German verweisen "to reproach, reprove," Gothic fraweitan "to avenge"), from PIE root *weid- "to see" (see vision). For sense evolution, cf. Latin animadvertere, literally "to give heed to, observe," later "to chastise, censure, punish."

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twit

n.

"foolish, stupid and ineffectual person," 1934, British slang, popular 1950s-60s, crossed over to U.S. with British sitcoms. It probably developed from twit (v.) in the sense of "reproach," but it may be influenced by nitwit.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper