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Originally twite, an aphetism of Middle English atwite.



twit (third-person singular simple present twits, present participle twitting, simple past and past participle twitted)

  1. (transitive) To reproach, blame; to ridicule or tease.
    • 1590, Shakespeare. History of Henry VI, Part II, Act III, Scene I
      "Hath he not twit our sovereign lady here
      With ignominious words, though clerkly couch'd,
      As if she had suborned some to swear
      False allegations to o'erthrow his state? " -
    • 1955, Rex Stout, "When a Man Murders...", in Three Witnesses, October 1994 Bantam edition, →ISBN, page 106:
      Mr. Cramer, a policeman, came this morning and twitted me for having let a murderer hoodwink me.
    • 2007, Bernard Porter, "Did He Puff his Crimes to Please a Bloodthirsty Readership?", review of Stanley: The Impossible Life of Africa’s Greatest Explorer by Tim Jeal, London Review of Books, 5 April, 29:7, p. 10
      H. R. Fox Bourne, secretary of the Aborigines' Protection Society – often twitted for being an ‘armchair critic’ – wrote in a review of one of Stanley's books []
    • Tillotson
      This these scoffers twitted the Christian with.
    • L'Estrange
      Aesop minds men of their errors, without twitting them for what is amiss.
  2. (transitive, computing) To ignore or killfile (a user on a bulletin board system).
    • 1995, "Michelle Jackson", Debutante/Question about Tori Shirts (on newsgroup
      However, on the Internet BBS's such as Quartz (now dead), Prism, Monsoon, Sunset, ect[sic], someone pulling that kind of crap is likely to get flamed quite fast and twitted before he/she can breathe.
    • 2002, "Chris Hoppman", FidoNet Feed Needed (on newsgroup alt.bbs)
      And no, there is no "thought purification program" that can filter out some folks[sic] obscene ideas that can be expressed w/o written vulgarities. That has to be simply "dealt" with, either by ignoring or twitting the individual that offends habitually.



twit (plural twits)

  1. A reproach, gibe or taunt.
  2. A foolish or annoying person.
    • (Can we date this quote?) Larry Kramer, Just Say No
      What do you mean, since when did I become such a radical fairy? Since I started knowing twits like you, you twit!
  3. A person who twitters i.e. chatters inanely (see usage notes)

Usage notesEdit

In the UK, the word "twit" for a person is usually used in a humorous or affectionate manner. Used in many Victorian novels "don't twitter man"


Derived termsEdit





twit m (plural twits)

  1. (Quebec, colloquial) twit (foolish person)
  2. a tweet (a message on Twitter)


Related termsEdit



twit m (plural twits)

  1. tweet (message on Twitter)