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witticism

Definitions

  • WordNet 3.6
    • n witticism a message whose ingenuity or verbal skill or incongruity has the power to evoke laughter
    • ***
Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
    • n Witticism A witty saying; a sentence or phrase which is affectedly witty; an attempt at wit; a conceit. "He is full of conceptions, points of epigram, and witticisms ; all which are below the dignity of heroic verse."
    • ***
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
    • n witticism A witty sentence, phrase, or remark; an observation characterized by wit.
    • ***
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
    • n Witticism (wit′i-sizm) a witty remark: a sentence or phrase affectedly witty
    • ***

Quotations

  • Minna Antrim
    Minna%20Antrim
    “An epigram is a flashlight of a truth; a witticism, truth laughing at itself.”
  • Ambrose Bierce
    Ambrose%20Bierce
    “Witticism. A sharp and clever remark, usually quoted and seldom noted; what the Philistine is pleased to call a joke.”
  • Phaedrus
    Phaedrus
    “Witticisms please as long as we keep them within boundaries, but pushed to excess they cause offense.”

Etymology

Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
From Witty
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
A.S. wit, from the verb above.

Usage

In literature:

Spare me your witticisms.
"Erdgeist (Earth-Spirit)" by Frank Wedekind
For a moment he hesitated; then opening his mouth slowly, he gave voice to the single witticism of his life.
"The Romance of a Plain Man" by Ellen Glasgow
He frowned as she addressed him; he could not see the witticism of her remark.
"Daddy's Girl" by L. T. Meade
Witticisms were admitted into such circles which respectable men would not tolerate now.
"Benjamin Franklin, A Picture of the Struggles of Our Infant Nation One Hundred Years Ago" by John S. C. Abbott
They shouted witticisms in her ear respecting the pillow of the guillotine upon which she was to repose her head.
"Maria Antoinette" by John S. C. (John Stevens Cabot) Abbott
With this slight witticism he disappeared into the store.
"Bred of the Desert" by Marcus Horton
But this was reckoned a witticism of mine.
"Francezka" by Molly Elliot Seawell
Checkers greeted Arthur with frank cordiality, and relieved the tension by a few well-turned witticisms.
"Checkers" by Henry M. Blossom
For some time she had been aware of a strong feminine voice exchanging witticisms with the clerk, but had paid no attention.
"McClure's Magazine, Vol. XXXI, No. 4, August 1908" by Various
It is the history of the evolution of the pun into the witticism.
"The Scrap Book. Volume 1, No. 2" by Various
In Athenaeus we also have specimens of their witticisms.
"Greek Women" by Mitchell Carroll
It seemed to him there had been one or two slips, but they had been taken for imperial witticisms.
"The Envoy, Her" by Horace Brown Fyfe
I made some harmless witticisms in reply.
"The Memoirs of Count Carlo Gozzi" by Count Carlo Gozzi
No one likes to have either his anecdotes or witticisms anticipated.
"Bee and Butterfly" by Lucy Foster Madison
I did not regret losing my nap, as I was amply repaid, listening to the witticisms of the party.
"My First Campaign" by J. W. Grant
He was particularly distinguished for his genuine politeness, affability, and witticism.
"Alida" by Amelia Stratton Comfield
Your surname, too, would give cause for witticisms.
"The Romance of the Canoness" by Paul Heyse
Their outgivings suggested a vaudeville act in which one player provides cues for the witticisms of the other.
"The Story of the Great War, Volume VII (of VIII)" by Various
In France he delighted the most distinguished women of the court by his compliments and witticisms.
"The True Benjamin Franklin" by Sydney George Fisher
But every one ignored this poor witticism, and Doctor Jim continued, while Barbara softly kicked her toes against his waistcoat.
"Barbara Ladd" by Charles G. D. Roberts
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In poetry:

I bore it - bore it like a man -
This agonizing witticism!
And nothing could be sweeter than
My temper, till the Ghost began
Some most provoking criticism.
"Phantasmagoria Canto III ( Scarmoges )" by Lewis Carroll

In news:

NYC-based cultural witticism from two Gawker alumni.
American Masters Online presents a sampling of witticisms, one liners, and knock-out dialog from Cary Grant, the characters he played, and some of his best known co-stars.
The cockeyed witticism, from a jocular self-interview that the teenage Lorenz Hart published in a high school periodical, shows that his signature attitude toward life was already firmly in place, years before h...
Activists trying to disprove the safety of agriculture biotechnology seem devoted to proving his witticism.
1880s had sense of witticism .
I had my little Thanksgiving-dinner witticism all ready.
Psychology humor, witticisms and more.
American Masters Online presents a sampling of witticisms, one liners, and knock-out dialog from Cary Grant, the characters he played, and some of his best known co-stars.
Our interview with Robert Downey Jr from the March 2007 issue didn't have room for every bon mot and witticism he had to offer.
National Spelling Bee begins with 'witticism'.
What a spectacle it was to see A. N Wilson posturing his way about the provincial literary scene of London, delivering himself of childishly nasty witticisms (" 'The Busy, Busy, Wasp, ' " by James Atlas, Oct 18).
Writer and humorist Nick Douglas created the first compilation of Twitter aphorisms and witticisms in his new book, "Twitter Wit ".
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