Definition of Wit

Pronunciation: wĭt
v. t. & i.1.To know; to learn.
[inf. (To) Wit; pres. sing. Wot; pl. Wite; imp. Wist(e); p. p. Wist; p. pr. & vb. n. Wit(t)ing. See the Note below.]
Brethren, we do you to wit [make you to know] of the grace of God bestowed on the churches of Macedonia.
- 2 Cor. viii. 1.
Thou wost full little what thou meanest.
- Chaucer.
We witen not what thing we prayen here.
- Chaucer.
When that the sooth in wist.
- Chaucer.
1.Mind; intellect; understanding; sense.
Who knew the wit of the Lord? or who was his counselor?
- Wyclif (Rom. xi. 34).
A prince most prudent, of an excellent
And unmatched wit and judgment.
- Shak.
Will puts in practice what wit deviseth.
- Sir J. Davies.
He wants not wit the dander to decline.
- Dryden.
2.A mental faculty, or power of the mind; - used in this sense chiefly in the plural, and in certain phrases; as, to lose one's wits; at one's wits' end, and the like.
I will stare him out of his wits.
- Shak.
3.Felicitous association of objects not usually connected, so as to produce a pleasant surprise; also. the power of readily combining objects in such a manner.
The definition of wit is only this, that it is a propriety of thoughts and words; or, in other terms, thoughts and words elegantly adapted to the subject.
- Dryden.
Wit which discovers partial likeness hidden in general diversity.
- Coleridge.
Wit lying most in the assemblage of ideas, and putting those together with quickness and variety wherein can be found any resemblance or congruity, thereby to make up pleasant pictures in the fancy.
- Locke.
4.A person of eminent sense or knowledge; a man of genius, fancy, or humor; one distinguished for bright or amusing sayings, for repartee, and the like.
In Athens, where books and wits were ever busier than in any other part of Greece, I find but only two sorts of writings which the magistrate cared to take notice of; those either blasphemous and atheistical, or libelous.
- Milton.
Intemperate wits will spare neither friend nor foe.
- L'Estrange.
A wit herself, Amelia weds a wit.
- Young.
The five wits
the five senses; also, sometimes, the five qualities or faculties, common wit, imagination, fantasy, estimation, and memory.
- Chaucer. Nares.
But my five wits nor my five senses can
Dissuade one foolish heart from serving thee.
- Shak.

Related Words

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Wishing bone
Wishing cap
Witch balls
Witch grass
Witch hazel
Witch meal
Witches' besoms
Witches' butter
witching hour
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