[ wit ]
/ wɪt /
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See synonyms for: wit / wits / witting on Thesaurus.com


the keen perception and cleverly apt expression of those connections between ideas that awaken amusement and pleasure.
speech or writing showing such perception and expression.
a person having or noted for such perception and expression.
understanding, intelligence, or sagacity; astuteness.
Usually wits .
  1. powers of intelligent observation, keen perception, ingenious contrivance, or the like; mental acuity, composure, and resourcefulness: using one's wits to get ahead.
  2. mental faculties; senses: to lose one's wits; frightened out of one's wits.



In effect, this quiz will prove whether or not you have the skills to know the difference between “affect” and “effect.”
Question 1 of 7
The rainy weather could not ________ my elated spirits on my graduation day.

Idioms for wit

Origin of wit

First recorded before 900; Middle English, Old English: “mind, thought”; cognate with German Witz, Old Norse vit; akin to wit2
See humor.
whit, wit

Definition for wit (2 of 2)

[ wit ]
/ wɪt /

verb (used with or without object), present singular 1st person wot,2nd wost,3rd wot,present plural wit or wite;past and past participle wist;present participle wit·ting.

Archaic. to know.

Origin of wit

before 900; Middle English witen,Old English witan; cognate with Dutch weten,German wissen,Old Norse vita,Gothic witan to know; akin to Latin vidēre,Greek ideîn to see, Sanskrit vidati (he) knows. See wot
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2021

British Dictionary definitions for wit (1 of 2)

/ (wɪt) /


See also wits
Old English witt; related to Old Saxon giwitt, Old High German wizzi (German Witz), Old Norse vit, Gothic witi. See wit ²

British Dictionary definitions for wit (2 of 2)

/ (wɪt) /


archaic to be or become aware of (something)


to wit that is to say; namely (used to introduce statements, as in legal documents)
Old English witan; related to Old High German wizzan (German wissen), Old Norse vita, Latin vidēre to see
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

Idioms and Phrases with wit


see at one's wit's end; have one's wits about one; live by one's wits; scare out of one's wits; to wit.

The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.
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