- 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 weet, German Witz, Danish vid, Swedish vett, Gothic 𐌿𐌽𐍅𐌹𐍄𐌹 (unwiti, “ignorance”), Latin videō (“see”), Russian ви́деть (vídetʹ). Compare wise.
- (now usually in the plural, plural only) 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.
- The opportunity was right in front of you, and you didn't even have the wit to take it!
- 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.
- 1609, William Shakespeare, Sonnet 23:
- O, learn to read what silent love hath writ:
- To hear with eyes belongs to love's fine wit.
- 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.
- 1991, Stephen Fry, The Liar, p. 37:
- A person who tells funny anecdotes or jokes; someone witty.
- Your friend is quite a wit, isn't he?
- 1601, Ben Jonson, Poetaster or The Arraignment: […], London: Printed [by R. Bradock] for M[atthew] L[ownes] […], published 1602, OCLC 316392309, Act III, scene iv:
- Tuc[ca]. […] Can thy Author doe it impudently enough? / Hiſt[rio]. O, I warrant you, Captaine: and ſpitefully inough too; he ha's one of the moſt ouerflowing villanous wits, in Rome. He will ſlander any man that breathes; If he diſguſt him. / Tucca. I'le know the poor, egregious, nitty Raſcall; and he haue ſuch commendable Qualities, I'le cheriſh him: […]
- (intellectual ability): See also Thesaurus: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.
- 1611, King James Version, Exodus 2:3–4:
- And when she could not longer hide him, she took for him an ark of bulrushes, and daubed it with slime and with pitch, and put the child therein; and she laid it in the flags by the river's brink. And his sister stood afar off, to wit what would be done to him.
- 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.
- To wit is now defective because it can only be used in the infinitive.
- (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.
- De wand is wit.
- The (inner) wall is white.
- (chiefly Surinam) having a white skin colour, light-skinned (see usage note)
- (Surinam) having a relatively light skin colour
- 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.
Recently, wit has come to be used in continental Dutch by some (associated with social justice movements) to refer to a specific skin colour, i.e. to light-skinned people of apparent mostly European descent. Traditionally, the adjective blank has been used there for this purpose, and this usage remains by far the most widespread in the Netherlands and Belgium.
|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
- 2011, Esther Schenk, Straatwaarde, Luitingh-Sijthoff B.V., →ISBN.
- Op de Baan verschijnen dealers die gekookte coke aanbieden. Dat is het ei van Columbus. Nu hoef ik niet meer met mijn wit eerst naar huis om het te gaan koken.
- (please add an English translation of this quote)
- 2014, Helen Vreeswijk, Overdosis, Unieboek | Het Spectrum, →ISBN.
- ‘Je bestelde ook een halfje wit’, hield De Main hem voor. ‘Wat is dat dan?’
- Heb je een halfje wit?
- Do you have a dose of cocaine? (The phrase halfje wit normally means "half a loaf of white bread".)
- 2011, Esther Schenk, Straatwaarde, Luitingh-Sijthoff B.V., →ISBN.
- Afrikaans: wit
|Colors in Dutch · kleuren (layout · text)|
|rood ; karmijnrood||oranje ; bruin||geel ; roomwit|
|blauwgroen/cyaan ; groenblauw/petrolblauw||azuurblauw||blauw|
|violet ; indigo||magenta ; paars||roze|
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.
- Romanization of
Louisiana Creole FrenchEdit
|< 7||8||9 >|
| Cardinal : wit|
Ordinal : witiem
This adjective needs an inflection-table template.
- “wit”, in Vroegmiddelnederlands Woordenboek, 2000
- “wit (I)”, in Middelnederlandsch Woordenboek, 1929
- we (first-person plural pronoun)
Old High GermanEdit
- Middle High German: wīt
|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|