Definition of nitwit in US English:



  • A silly or foolish person (often as a general term of abuse).

    • ‘Investing aficionados say flexible portfolio funds are only for nitwits who can't stand investing.’
    • ‘I'll be back in a few days, but in the meantime, have a great New Year's Eve, watch out for nitwits on the road tonight, and enjoy the floats and football games tomorrow.’
    • ‘So, yes, I might as well give myself the freedom to indulge in any sort of blithering about the wildlife in my backyard and what the folks in Austin TX are up to and how those nitwits in Washington won't adopt my theories of government.’
    • ‘You might have even gotten the attention of some med school nitwits about that literally laughably insane test.’
    • ‘You know perfectly well how I feel about the nitwits you want me to marry.’
    • ‘He's also had to deal with the administration's penchant for putting GOP hacks and/or total nitwits in charge of its ‘public diplomacy’ efforts.’
    • ‘And he's making several generations of pro golfers look like nitwits.’
    • ‘The eager anticipation of these voters tells me they did not stand in line for hours & hours, in pouring rain, to vote for an incompetent nitwit.’
    • ‘Yes, some nitwits have picked up wreckage and done everything they weren't supposed to do, but by far the majority will be people like those men standing with their heads down.’
    • ‘Who gave you two nitwits permission to invite them for dinner?’
    • ‘Then I found out I was just a sentimental schmuck like those flighty nitwits I've always pitied.’
    • ‘So, in the spirit of bipartisanship (there are plenty of nitwits in both parties), here are some points for discussion.’
    • ‘I wanted those nitwits who sell those intoxicating beverages and illegal things to see the ranting of my words, and have their blood run cold while seeing the evil of their ways.’
    • ‘I was neither one of those nitwits who wasted my time on a futile endeavor to provoke her, nor one of the curious who was drawn to this unusual character.’
    • ‘The nitwit concerned is a TV pundit and author of a textbook widely used in American universities.’
    • ‘There is a local group of mostly middle aged nitwits who still indulge in this so-called hobby.’
    • ‘They have much better people than this team of nitwits.’
    • ‘That's the awful irony of the dynamic: that the stubborn, idiosyncratic, self-possessed auteurs getting stiffed in their coffins wouldn't want these nitwits to finish their careers for them.’
    • ‘And how do these nitwits account for the fact that, for the last thirty years, the laser reflectors and radio sensors on the Moon have been transmitting terabytes of data back to Earth?’
    • ‘All of her mother's friends were rich and air-headed, and so were their husbands, so it was no wonder that their children were empty-headed nitwits with no sense of humor and an extreme lack for adventure.’
    idiot, fool, ass, halfwit, nincompoop, dunce, dolt, ignoramus, cretin, imbecile, dullard, moron, simpleton, clod
    View synonyms


Early 20th century: apparently from nit + wit.