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Webster's Dictionary 1828 - Online Edition

Webster's Dictionary 1828

Americal Dictionary of the English Language

American Dictionary
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Wit

WIT, verb intransitive [G., to know. See Wise.] To know. This verb is used only in the infinitive, to wit namely, that is to say. [Latin]

WIT, noun [See the verb and Wise.]

1. Primarily, the intellect; the understanding or mental powers.

Will puts in practice what the wit deviseth.

For wit and power their last endeavors bend t outshine each other.

2. The association of ideas in a manner natural, but unusual and striking, so as to produce surprise joined with pleasure. wit is defined.

What oft was thought, but neer so well expressd.

WIT consists in assembling and putting together with quickness, ideas in which can be found resemblance and congruity, by which to make up pleasant pictures and agreeable visions in the fancy.

WIT consists chiefly in joining things by distant and fanciful relations, which surprise us because they are unexpected.

WIT is a propriety of thoughts and words; or in other terms, thoughts and words elegantly adapted to the subject.

3. The faculty of associating ideas in a new and unexpected manner.

4. A man of genius; as, the age of Addison abounded with wits.

A wit herself, Amelia weds a wit

5. A man of fancy or wit

Intemperate wits will spare neither friend nor foe.

6. Sense; judgment.

He wants not wit the danger to decline.

7. Faculty of the mind.

8. Wits, in the plural, soundness of mind; intellect not disordered; sound mind. No man in his wits would venture on such an expedition. Have you lost your wits? Is he out of his wits?

9. Power of invention; contrivance; ingenuity. He was at his wits end.