Definition of wiseacre in English:



  • A person with an affectation of wisdom or knowledge, regarded with scorn or irritation by others; a know-all.

    ‘the wiseacres forecast a collapse of the building’
    • ‘When she barked, they straightened in the chair and when she raised a brow they commenced rehearsing the wiseacre questions that had been scripted for them.’
    • ‘While being no particular fan of cops myself, I sympathise with them when they have to deal with wiseacres like you and your cohorts.’
    • ‘Either way, the name stuck - providing great fodder for annoying wiseacres all over the state.’
    • ‘Well, those wiseacres were proved wrong then, and they're going to be proved wrong again.’
    • ‘For years, successive generations of caddies lived up to their reputation as low-life wiseacres who always knew better than the guy who was paying them and were not afraid to say so.’


Late 16th century: from Middle Dutch wijsseggher ‘soothsayer’, probably from the Germanic base of wit. The assimilation to acre remains unexplained.