Definition of


  1. (noun, cognition) mental ability
  2. (noun, communication) a message whose ingenuity or verbal skill or incongruity has the power to evoke laughter
  3. (noun, person) a witty amusing person who makes jokes

via WordNet, Princeton University

Origin of the word Wit

  1. "mental capacity," O.E. wit, more commonly gewit, from P.Gmc. *witjan (cf. O.S. wit, O.N. vit, Dan. vid, Swed. vett, O.Fris. wit, O.H.G. wizzi "knowledge, understanding, intelligence, mind," Ger. Witz "wit, witticism, joke," Goth. unwiti "ignorance"), from PIE *woid-/*weid-/*wid- "to see," metap… more
  2. "know," O.E. witan "to know," from P.Gmc. *witanan "to have seen," hence "to know" (cf. O.S. witan, O.N. vita, O.Fris. wita, M.Du., Du. weten, O.H.G. wizzan, Ger. wissen, Goth. witan "to know"); see wit (n.). The phrase to wit, almost the only surviving use of the verb, is first recorded 1577, from earlier more

via Online Etymology Dictionary, ©2001 Douglas Harper

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