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repartee

Definitions

  • WordNet 3.6
    • n repartee adroitness and cleverness in reply
    • ***
Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
    • n Repartee A smart, ready, and witty reply. "Cupid was as bad as he;
      Hear but the youngster's repartee ."
    • v. i Repartee To make smart and witty replies.
    • ***
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
    • n repartee A ready, pertinent, and witty reply.
    • n repartee Such replies in general or collectively; the kind of wit involved in making sharp and ready retorts.
    • n repartee Synonyms Repartee, Retort. A repartee is a witty and good-humored answer to a remark of similar character, and is meant to surpass the latter in wittiness. A retort is a keen, prompt answer. A repartee may be called a retort where the wit is keen. Retort, however, is quite as commonly used for a serious turning back of censure, derision, or the like, in a short and sharp expression.
    • repartee To make ready and witty replies.
    • ***
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
    • n Repartee rep-ar-tē′ a smart, ready, and witty reply
    • v.i Repartee to make witty replies
    • ***

Quotations

  • Benjamin Disraeli
    Benjamin%20Disraeli
    “A majority is always better than the best repartee.”
  • Gilbert K. Chesterton
    Gilbert%20K.%20Chesterton
    “Silence is the unbearable repartee.”

Etymology

Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
F. repartie, fr. repartir, to reply, depart again; pref. re-, re- partir, to part, depart. See Part

Usage

In literature:

She would laugh and joke, and have her repartee as usual, but in other points she was truly reformed.
"Snarley-yow" by Frederick Marryat
When a casual word annoyed him, his repartee flashed out like lightning.
"Fifteen Chapters of Autobiography" by George William Erskine Russell
Baptiste also came in for a share of their repartee.
"The Young Fur Traders" by R.M. Ballantyne
Thus, with laugh and jest, and good-natured repartee, did these men bear the pangs of hunger for many days.
"The Red Eric" by R.M. Ballantyne
Repartee makes reading lively, but business dull.
"Letters from a Self-Made Merchant to His Son" by George Horace Lorimer
Though a reputed fool, his sarcastic wit and sparkling talents at repartee won him great celebrity.
"Christmas: Its Origin and Associations" by William Francis Dawson
On the question of the duration of the office of the representatives, there was a very lively piece of repartee between the two.
"Andrew Melville" by William Morison
If there's to be any more Bloomingdale repartee, just count me out.
"Shorty McCabe" by Sewell Ford
He could talk nonsense charmingly and could hold his own in the jolly give-and-take of repartee.
"Oh, You Tex!" by William Macleod Raine
At jokes and repartee he was as good as the best of them, and always enjoyed a laugh like the youngest.
"A Woman who went to Alaska" by May Kellogg Sullivan
Blythe cut short the repartee.
"The Pirate of Panama" by William MacLeod Raine
The barrister was a master of repartee.
"Debts of Honor" by Maurus Jókai
Nothing in the shape of repartee could be expected from him; and with him Blanche was fairly disgusted.
"Clare Avery" by Emily Sarah Holt
Quick, bright, full of boyish repartee, full of shouts and laughter.
"By The Sea" by Heman White Chaplin
You must know the F. E. Smithian repartees of JACK JOHNSON.
"Punch, or the London Charivari, Vol. 147, July 15, 1914" by Various
Repartee of this sort is disarming, and the quickness of wit that prompts it is not one of the least useful attributes of salesmanship.
"The Building of a Book" by Various
A peculiarity which he patiently endured, having no talent for repartee, that he had at one time thought of cultivating.
"At Fault" by Kate Chopin
But then again, what chance had his speech offered for repartee?
"In the Mist of the Mountains" by Ethel Turner
Only about a year and a half younger than her brother, Kate was a match for him in about everything and rather more than a match in repartee.
"When Life Was Young" by C. A. Stephens
There was some fine speeches, and a splendid display of wit and repartee.
"Reminiscences of Queensland" by William Henry Corfield
***

In poetry:

I backed on the Highway; but passed not
The hostel. Within there
Too mocking to Love's re-expression
Was Time's repartee!
"My Cicely" by Thomas Hardy
How sullen Jupiter, just now
I think I said: and You'll allow,
That Cupid was as bad as He:
Hear but the Youngster's Repartee.
"Mercury And Cupid" by Matthew Prior
"Your wisest men are very far
Less learned than our babies are!"
I mused awhile - and then, oh me!
I framed this brilliant repartee:
"My Dream" by William Schwenck Gilbert
You ain’t met him? Son, you’ve missed
The most funniest humorist
I’ve met with in my born days—
Funniest talker, anyways,
When it comes to repartee—
That’s the humor catches me!
"Jabed Meeker, Humorist" by Ellis Parker Butler
A man renown’d for repartee
Will seldom scruple to make free
With friendship’s finest feeling,
Will thrust a dagger at your breast,
And say he wounded you in jest,
By way of balm for healing.
"Friendship" by William Cowper
Take him who grubs for fortune in a systematic way,
Till "biz" is rich in promise and responsive in its pay,
And faith ascends the zenith lit with hope, his lucky star,
And watch him when the nagger plies her repartees that bar.
"The Shady Side" by Samuel Alfred Beadle

In news:

In one commercial, their repartee recalls great rhetoric from presidential campaigns of the past.
Romances Offer Witty Repartee .
Expect surreal streams of consciousness, along with Danny's trademark wit and repartee.
It wasn't a surprise to anyone that it didn't take long for Dwight Howard and Steve Nash to come up with a Laurel & Hardy-like repartee.
Parents Heather and Ethan Long—she in her debut and he the creator of recent picture books including Soup for One and Pig Has a Plan—fictionalize the repartee between their real-life sons in this jittery bedtime story.
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