wit


wit
wit
wit1 [wit]
n.
[ME < OE, akin to Ger witz: for IE base see WISE1]
1. Obs. the mind
2. [pl.]
a) powers of thinking and reasoning; intellectual and perceptive powers
b) mental faculties with respect to their state of balance, esp. in their normal condition of sanity
3. alert, practical intelligence; good sense
4.
a) the ability to make lively, clever remarks in a sharp, amusing way
b) the ability to perceive incongruous relationships and express them in a surprising or epigrammatic manner
c) a person characterized by wit
d) writing or speech expressing wit; esp., any clever disparagement or raillery
5. Archaic intellect; reason
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at one's wits' end
at a point where one's mental resources are exhausted; at a loss as to what to do
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keep one's wits about one or have one's wits about one
to remain mentally alert; function with undiminished acumen, as in an emergency
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live by one's wits
to live by trickery or craftiness
SYN.- WIT1 refers to the ability to perceive the incongruous and to express it in quick, sharp, spontaneous, often sarcastic remarks that delight or entertain; HUMOR is applied to the ability to perceive and express that which is comical, ludicrous, or ridiculous, but connotes kindliness, geniality, sometimes even pathos, in the expression and a reaction of sympathetic amusement from the audience; IRONY1 refers to the humor implicit in the contradiction between literal expression and intended meaning or in the discrepancy between appearance and reality in life; SATIRE applies to the use, especially in literature, of ridicule, sarcasm, irony, etc. in exposing and attacking vices or follies; REPARTEE refers to the ability to reply or retort with quick, skillful wit or humor
wit2 [wit]
vt., vi.
wist, witting [ME witen < OE witan, to know: see WISE1]
Archaic to know or learn: wit is conjugated in the present indicative: (I) wot, (thou) wost or wot ( t) est, (he, she, it) wot or wot ( t) eth, (we, ye, they) wite or witen
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to wit
that is to say; namely

English World dictionary. . 2014.

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