- enPR: wĭt, IPA(key): /wɪt/
Audio (US) (file)
- Rhymes: -ɪt
- Homophone: whit (in accents with the wine-whine merger)
From Middle English wit, from Old English witt (“understanding, intellect, sense, knowledge, consciousness, conscience”), from Proto-Germanic *witją (“knowledge, reason”), from Proto-Indo-European *weyd- (“see, know”). Cognate with Dutch wit, German Witz, Danish vid, Swedish vett, Gothic 𐌿𐌽𐍅𐌹𐍄𐌹 (unwiti, “ignorance”), Latin videō (“see”), Russian ви́деть (vídetʹ). Compare wise.
- (now usually in the plural) Sanity.
He's gone completely out of his wits.
- (obsolete usually in the plural) The senses.
- Intellectual ability; faculty of thinking, reasoning.
Where she has gone to is beyond the wit of man to say.
- The ability to think quickly; mental cleverness, especially under short time constraints.
My father had a quick wit and a steady hand.
- Intelligence; common sense.
- 1460-1500, The Towneley Playsː
- I give the wit, I give the strength, of all thou seest, of breadth and length; thou shalt be wonder-wise, mirth and joy to have at will, all thy liking to fulfill, and dwell in paradise.
The opportunity was right in front of you, and you didn't even have the wit to take it!
- 1460-1500, The Towneley Playsː
- Humour, especially when clever or quick.
The best man's speech was hilarious, full of wit and charm.
1898, Winston Churchill, chapter 8, in The Celebrity:
- The humor of my proposition appealed more strongly to Miss Trevor than I had looked for, and from that time forward she became her old self again; […] . Our table in the dining-room became again the abode of scintillating wit and caustic repartee, Farrar bracing up to his old standard, and the demand for seats in the vicinity rose to an animated competition.
- A person who tells funny anecdotes or jokes; someone witty.
Your friend is quite a wit, isn't he?
- See also Wikisaurus:intelligence
(type of humor):
From Middle English witen, from Old English witan, from Proto-Germanic *witaną, from Proto-Indo-European *weyd- (“see, know”). Cognate with Icelandic vita, Dutch weten, German wissen, Swedish veta, and Latin videō (“I see”). Compare guide.
wit (see below for this verb’s conjugation)
- (transitive, intransitive, chiefly archaic) Know, be aware of (constructed with of when used intransitively).
- You committed terrible actions — to wit, murder and theft — and should be punished accordingly.
- They are meddling in matters that men should not wit of.
- 1849, Dante Gabriel Rossetti, St. Luke the Painter, lines 5–8
- but soon having wist
- How sky-breadth and field-silence and this day
- Are symbols also in some deeper way,
- She looked through these to God and was God’s priest.
- As a preterite-present verb, the third-person singular indicative form is not wits but wot; the plural indicative forms conform to the infinitive: we wit, ye wit, they wit.
- (Southern US) Alternative spelling of
From Middle Dutch wit, from Old Dutch *wit, from Proto-Germanic *hwittaz. The geminate is unexpected as the usual Proto-Germanic form is *hwītaz, from Proto-Indo-European *ḱweytos (“shine; bright”). The geminate is sometimes explained as being the result of Kluge's law, thus from a pre-Germanic *kweyd-nos.
Cognates with a geminate/short vowel are: Middle Low German witt, Old Frisian wit. Cognates with a long vowel are much more numerous: German weiß, West Frisian wyt, English white, Norwegian hvit, Swedish vit.
De wand is wit.
- The (inner) wall is white.
- pure, untainted
- (archaic) clear-lighted, not dark at all
De lang gewenste dag verscheen, heel klaar en wit.
- The long-wished-for day appeared, very clear and white.
|Inflection of wit|
- (uncountable) white (color)
Wit is alle kleuren ineens.
- White is all colors at once.
- (archaic) (short for doelwit (“goal, target, the white in a bullseye”)
Myn wit is Adam en zyn afkomst te bederven. (in Lucifer, by Vondel)
- My goal is to corrupt Adam and his origin.
- (slang) cocaine
Heb je een halfje wit?
- (please add an English translation of this usage example)
- Afrikaans: wit
|Colors in Dutch · kleuren (layout · text)|
From Middle Dutch wit. Ultimately from Proto-Germanic *witją (“knowledge, reason”), from Proto-Indo-European *weyd- (“see, know”). Related to weten (“to know”), wis (“knowledge”) and wijs (“wise”). Cognate with English wit, German Witz.
Louisiana Creole FrenchEdit
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| Cardinal : wit
Ordinal : witiem
Old High GermanEdit
|Singular||1.||2.||3. m||3. f||3. n|
|Accusative||mī, me, mik||thī, thik||ina||sia|
|Plural||1.||2.||3. m||3. f||3. n|
|Nominative||wī, we||gī, ge||sia||sia||siu|
|Accusative||ūs, unsik||eu, iu, iuu|
|Genitive||ūser||euwar, iuwer, iuwar, iuwero, iuwera||iro|