Definition of riposte in English:

riposte

noun

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

    • ‘But much of this critical riposte assaults our protagonist's dignity more than is necessary for an appreciation of the film.’
    • ‘I saw him cutting off distinguished authors at the ankles with short, savage ripostes that made one wince.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘The sexual chemistry between Wilks and Gray is palpable as they bounce ripostes off each other with wry wit and superb timing.’
    • ‘The attack provoked a riposte, and the quarrel ranged far beyond the domain of rhetorical theory.’
    • ‘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?’
    • ‘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!’
    • ‘One-liners were bouncing around my head, ripostes to every single barb, especially those from the fat bloke.’
    • ‘Biting back her instinctive urge to make a biting riposte in defence of her twin, Alicia merely shook her head.’
    • ‘The dialogue, too, feels like piecework, as if the bons mots and ripostes have been assembled from a library of index cards.’
    • ‘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.’
    retort, counter, rejoinder, sally, return, retaliation, answer, reply, response
    comeback
    View synonyms
  • 2A quick return thrust in fencing.

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

verb

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

    ‘‘You've got a strange sense of honour,’ Grant riposted’
    • ‘We can also protect against hull breeches and heat,’ Dann ripostes.’
    • ‘‘You think that science and progress provide all the answers,’ she riposted.’
    • ‘Besides, the breeze along the Nile will cool you down,’ I riposted.’
    • ‘‘Hey, I've only got these or flip-flops,’ she ripostes.’
    • ‘‘Not pure, but poor,’ she riposted, winking at him.’
    • ‘At one point they threatened Carnot, who riposted that they were ‘ridiculous dictators'.’
    • ‘‘Too soon to tell,’ he laconically riposted.’
    • ‘To which Reginald riposted: ‘Oh yes you do, if you live in the South Hams, matey.’’
    • ‘‘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.’
    • ‘I riposted cleverly, ‘I wasn't aware America had a food culture.’’
    • ‘‘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.’’
    retort, counter, rejoin, return, retaliate, hurl back, fling back, snap back, answer, reply, respond, say in response
    round on someone, come back
    View synonyms
  • 2[no object] Make a quick return thrust in fencing.

    • ‘He stepped, lunged, parried, riposted, all the movements flowing into the next, a dance of incredible intricacy.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘But out of nowhere comes her own blade; she twists and blocks me, then ripostes.’
    • ‘A soldier went down in a flash of steel as he neatly riposted his clumsy strike.’
    • ‘Jack yielded the parry, rolling his wrist into second to protect his right leg, and then jumped back again without riposting.’

Origin

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

Pronunciation

riposte

/rɪˈpɒst/