Definition of witticism in US English:



  • A witty remark.

    • ‘The acerbic Australian, equally at home dissecting serious cultural issues and Japanese endurance game shows, will be reading from his new collection of essays and dispensing bons mots, acid witticisms and Antipodean insights.’
    • ‘We don't know whether it's Fran Drescher's sense of style or her witticisms on The Nanny, that capture 10-year-old Ashlay Skerrit's attention, but it's her favorite TV show.’
    • ‘Some witticisms were outright jokes at the passerby's expense.’
    • ‘Still, in its four seasons, it's done well with critics and, usually, in the ratings, with an effectively complicated mix of gloomy outlook, one-line witticisms, apocalyptic plots, and range of characters.’
    • ‘‘It was all witticisms and banter,’ said Mark Fine.’
    • ‘First thing Monday morning, I would be in at school or work, entertaining people with crass jokes and tasteless witticisms.’
    • ‘He can chuckle over some of the hard times of his young adulthood though you can sense the hurt that lingers behind the easy jokes and witticisms.’
    • ‘His narration is particularly entertaining, with funny witticisms from time to time.’
    • ‘However, this film encourages the viewer to come up with his own witticisms and biting remarks.’
    • ‘Imagine the one-line witticisms flying back and forth between Hepburn, Morrissey and Wilde.’
    • ‘I'm always thinking of wisecracks and witticisms, always searching for the funny side of a situation.’
    • ‘After everyone had a chance to read the piece, the room began to jump with jokes and witticisms about the plan.’
    • ‘Since then, he's provided wicked witticisms and killer punchlines for them all - Tommy Cooper, Stanley Baxter, Billy Connolly, Les Dawson… in fact, anyone who was anyone in British comedy.’
    • ‘Maybe younger viewers will find these witticisms funny.’
    • ‘But his real and enduring value is as a superb writer: a crafter of succulent sentences, savory asides, tart witticisms (and other easy food metaphors he would never have condescended to use).’
    • ‘‘It's better to be looked over than to be overlooked,’ is one of her most repeated witticisms.’
    • ‘He would start with off-the-cuff remarks and witticisms and gradually improvise a setting in which they could shine.’
    • ‘Like them, he writes a kind of protest poetry: wisecracks and witticisms made in the tumbril cart on the way to the guillotine of literary judgment, perhaps.’
    • ‘This book is full of aphorisms, bon mots and witticisms, nearly all to do with the absurdity of the world in which we live.’
    • ‘By the way, if, in sixty years of speechifying, journalism, writing two books and conducting voluminous correspondence, George Lansbury ever made a joke or a witticism, it has escaped Dr Shepherd.’
    joke, quip, witty remark, flash of wit, jest, pun, play on words, double entendre, sally, riposte, pleasantry
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1677: coined by Dryden from witty, on the pattern of criticism.