Definition of riposte in English:

riposte

noun

  • 1A quick, clever reply to an insult or criticism.

    • ‘Such a direct riposte is rare and the opportunity to make it courteously and publicly, rarer still.’
    • ‘Could the woman who repackaged star quality for the post-Vietnam age do what any successful talk show host has to: pretend to listen to other people while thinking up witty ripostes?’
    • ‘But much of this critical riposte assaults our protagonist's dignity more than is necessary for an appreciation of the film.’
    • ‘He's once again cooler than cool, coming up with witty ripostes we've heard before and powerful speeches that, once again, prove his coolness.’
    • ‘The sexual chemistry between Wilks and Gray is palpable as they bounce ripostes off each other with wry wit and superb timing.’
    • ‘We bumped into each other at a professional meeting, where he greeted me with a typical smiling riposte: ‘I always thought I was going to hear much more of you!’
    • ‘The dialogue, too, feels like piecework, as if the bons mots and ripostes have been assembled from a library of index cards.’
    • ‘Biting back her instinctive urge to make a biting riposte in defence of her twin, Alicia merely shook her head.’
    • ‘The riposte to such cultural protectionism is that it is cynical, self-interested and reflects a cultural conservatism and snooty suspicion of popular culture by certain political elites.’
    • ‘One-liners were bouncing around my head, ripostes to every single barb, especially those from the fat bloke.’
    • ‘The attack provoked a riposte, and the quarrel ranged far beyond the domain of rhetorical theory.’
    • ‘I saw him cutting off distinguished authors at the ankles with short, savage ripostes that made one wince.’
    retort, counter, rejoinder, sally, return, retaliation, answer, reply, response
    View synonyms
  • 2A quick return thrust in fencing.

    • ‘Lex parried his father's attacks without trying too hard and pressed his own ripostes well.’
    • ‘His every thrust was blocked or parried, and the riposte that followed each left him with another leaking wound.’
    • ‘A deflection wide with the right and a riposte with left and she fell.’
    • ‘Forcing the blade aside, he delivered a crushing riposte, thrusting with his weapon towards his midriff.’
    • ‘Grunting, the youth swung wildly in a violent riposte, not caring what he hit.’

verb

  • 1with direct speech Make a quick, clever reply to an insult or criticism.

    ‘‘You've got a strange sense of honour,’ Grant riposted’
    • ‘I riposted cleverly, ‘I wasn't aware America had a food culture.’’
    • ‘‘You think that science and progress provide all the answers,’ she riposted.’
    • ‘‘And you could try packing a bit lighter,’ he riposted, ‘You know you'll never wear all that, even if we're on Greenwood for a year.’’
    • ‘‘Hey, I've only got these or flip-flops,’ she ripostes.’
    • ‘‘You and a number of people tried to cash in on the thing and when you didn't get your way, you tried to make sure I didn't get it off the ground,’ the witness riposted.’
    • ‘‘Too soon to tell,’ he laconically riposted.’
    • ‘‘Not pure, but poor,’ she riposted, winking at him.’
    • ‘At one point they threatened Carnot, who riposted that they were ‘ridiculous dictators'.’
    • ‘Besides, the breeze along the Nile will cool you down,’ I riposted.’
    • ‘We can also protect against hull breeches and heat,’ Dann ripostes.’
    • ‘To which Reginald riposted: ‘Oh yes you do, if you live in the South Hams, matey.’’
    retort, counter, rejoin, return, retaliate, hurl back, fling back, snap back, answer, reply, respond, say in response
    View synonyms
  • 2no object Make a quick return thrust in fencing.

    • ‘But out of nowhere comes her own blade; she twists and blocks me, then ripostes.’
    • ‘Jack yielded the parry, rolling his wrist into second to protect his right leg, and then jumped back again without riposting.’
    • ‘They jabbed, parried, charged and riposted with such speed that the blades were indistinguishable blurs of reflected light now that the sun had risen over the horizon.’
    • ‘A soldier went down in a flash of steel as he neatly riposted his clumsy strike.’
    • ‘He stepped, lunged, parried, riposted, all the movements flowing into the next, a dance of incredible intricacy.’

Origin

Early 18th century: from French risposte (noun), risposter (verb), from Italian risposta ‘response’.

Pronunciation

riposte

/rɪˈpɒst/