Definition of quip in US English:



  • 1A witty remark.

    • ‘I did like the style and it's full of witty quips.’
    • ‘You had to always be on your toes with her, because she would always make jokes and quips.’
    • ‘His quips and jokes were still at my expense, but he did tone things down a little.’
    • ‘Are you thinking up witty quips for the European press as we speak?’
    • ‘Heaps of other stuff happened with the other characters and there were witty quips but I left my notebook at home.’
    • ‘At home he had been funny, sociable, always ready for a quip or a practical joke.’
    • ‘Please also excuse the abundance of randomly inserted comments and quips which I think are witty but are probably not.’
    • ‘We all look to Frank as somebody who, when we were making difficult decisions, was there with a funny quip.’
    • ‘Every political side gets their shot at a bon mot, a quip, or a zinger.’
    • ‘The acting also showed that the cast has range beyond their usual witty quips and fight scenes.’
    • ‘But for all the jolly quips and witty asides public relations and advertising are tough, unforgiving industries, teaming with showmanship and bravado.’
    • ‘The conversation, as was to be expected with such a group, was light and flippant, with many jokes and quips flipping back and forth.’
    • ‘Why must I be subjected to teams of lackwits telling lousy jokes, quipping lame quips, discussing current events with all the wit and wisdom of the village idiot?’
    • ‘I have a general hatred of the supposedly witty quips in action movies.’
    • ‘The extra layer of respect teachers enjoy in many of my students' home cultures means I don't have to labour very hard to have my quips received as witty, which is a privilege I do my best not to abuse, most of the time.’
    • ‘I came up with excellent quips and remarks and wise cracks.’
    • ‘This movie's main thrust is really nothing more than bareness interspersed with double entendres, pseudo witty banter, personal attacks, comic quips, and horribly off-key crooning.’
    joke, witty remark, witticism, jest, pun, sally, pleasantry, epigram, aphorism
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    1. 1.1archaic A verbal equivocation.


[no object]
  • Make a witty remark.

    with direct speech ‘“Flattery will get you nowhere,” she quipped’
    • ‘Then again, he pauses for a minute before quipping: ‘The only animal I am really scared of is the one that walks on two legs.’’
    • ‘At a personal level, I remember him once quipping to me in a lift: ‘How can I like music that is supposed to represent a lost paradise, when I don't believe in such things?’’
    • ‘Albert Einstein once quipped that the greatest mathematical discovery of all time is compound interest.’
    • ‘As the New York Times has quipped, once hot offerings have now become hot potatoes.’
    • ‘Even Oscar Wilde once quipped that he would have been more impressed if the falls ran upwards; at least no one has tried that yet.’
    • ‘An election, someone once quipped, is the only race in which most people pick the winner.’
    • ‘A London media wag, bemused by the pace of life in Scarborough, had quipped in the run up to the game that the town did not so much have cup fever as a sore throat and runny nose.’
    • ‘‘The socialist meets the socialite,’ he quipped, but that was to understate the awesome mismatch.’
    • ‘Trevor's not a churchgoer, quipping: ‘I'm a seventh day absentist.’’
    • ‘Oscar Wilde once quipped that economists know the price of everything and the value of nothing.’
    joke, jest, pun, sally, banter
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Mid 16th century: perhaps from Latin quippe ‘indeed, forsooth’.