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5 definitions found
 for Wit
From The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48 :

  Wit \Wit\ (w[i^]t), v. t. & i. [inf. (To) Wit; pres. sing.
     Wot; pl. Wite; imp. Wist(e); p. p. Wist; p. pr. & vb.
     n. Wit(t)ing. See the Note below.] [OE. witen, pres. ich
     wot, wat, I know (wot), imp. wiste, AS. witan, pres. w[=a]t,
     imp. wiste, wisse; akin to OFries. wita, OS. witan, D. weten,
     G. wissen, OHG. wizzan, Icel. vita, Sw. veta, Dan. vide,
     Goth. witan to observe, wait I know, Russ. vidiete to see, L.
     videre, Gr. ?, Skr. vid to know, learn; cf. Skr. vid to find.
     ????. Cf. History, Idea, Idol, -oid, Twit, Veda,
     Vision, Wise, a. & n., Wot.]
     To know; to learn. "I wot and wist alway." --Chaucer.
     [1913 Webster]
     [1913 Webster]
  
     Note: The present tense was inflected as follows; sing. 1st
           pers. wot; 2d pers. wost, or wot(t)est; 3d pers. wot,
           or wot(t)eth; pl. witen, or wite. The following variant
           forms also occur; pres. sing. 1st & 3d pers. wat, woot;
           pres. pl. wyten, or wyte, weete, wote, wot; imp. wuste
           (Southern dialect); p. pr. wotting. Later, other
           variant or corrupt forms are found, as, in Shakespeare,
           3d pers. sing. pres. wots.
           [1913 Webster]
  
                 Brethren, we do you to wit [make you to know] of
                 the grace of God bestowed on the churches of
                 Macedonia.                         --2 Cor. viii.
                                                    1.
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                 Thou wost full little what thou meanest.
                                                    --Chaucer.
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                 We witen not what thing we prayen here.
                                                    --Chaucer.
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                 When that the sooth in wist.       --Chaucer.
           [1913 Webster]
  
     Note: This verb is now used only in the infinitive, to wit,
           which is employed, especially in legal language, to
           call attention to a particular thing, or to a more
           particular specification of what has preceded, and is
           equivalent to namely, that is to say.
           [1913 Webster]

From The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48 :

  Wit \Wit\, n. [AS. witt, wit; akin to OFries. wit, G. witz, OHG.
     wizz[imac], Icel. vit, Dan. vid, Sw. vett. [root]133. See
     Wit, v.]
     [1913 Webster]
     1. Mind; intellect; understanding; sense.
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              Who knew the wit of the Lord? or who was his
              counselor?                            --Wyclif (Rom.
                                                    xi. 34).
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              A prince most prudent, of an excellent
              And unmatched wit and judgment.       --Shak.
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              Will puts in practice what wit deviseth. --Sir J.
                                                    Davies.
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              He wants not wit the dander to decline. --Dryden.
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     2. A mental faculty, or power of the mind; -- used in this
        sense chiefly in the plural, and in certain phrases; as,
        to lose one's wits; at one's wits' end, and the like.
        "Men's wittes ben so dull." --Chaucer.
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              I will stare him out of his wits.     --Shak.
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     3. Felicitous association of objects not usually connected,
        so as to produce a pleasant surprise; also. the power of
        readily combining objects in such a manner.
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              The definition of wit is only this, that it is a
              propriety of thoughts and words; or, in other terms,
              thoughts and words elegantly adapted to the subject.
                                                    --Dryden.
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              Wit which discovers partial likeness hidden in
              general diversity.                    --Coleridge.
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              Wit lying most in the assemblage of ideas, and
              putting those together with quickness and variety
              wherein can be found any resemblance or congruity,
              thereby to make up pleasant pictures in the fancy.
                                                    --Locke.
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     4. A person of eminent sense or knowledge; a man of genius,
        fancy, or humor; one distinguished for bright or amusing
        sayings, for repartee, and the like.
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              In Athens, where books and wits were ever busier
              than in any other part of Greece, I find but only
              two sorts of writings which the magistrate cared to
              take notice of; those either blasphemous and
              atheistical, or libelous.             --Milton.
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              Intemperate wits will spare neither friend nor foe.
                                                    --L'Estrange.
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              A wit herself, Amelia weds a wit.     --Young.
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     The five wits, the five senses; also, sometimes, the five
        qualities or faculties, common wit, imagination, fantasy,
        estimation, and memory. --Chaucer. Nares.
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              But my five wits nor my five senses can
              Dissuade one foolish heart from serving thee.
                                                    --Shak.
        [1913 Webster]
  
     Syn: Ingenuity; humor; satire; sarcasm; irony; burlesque.
  
     Usage: Wit, Humor. Wit primarily meant mind; and now
            denotes the power of seizing on some thought or
            occurrence, and, by a sudden turn, presenting it under
            aspects wholly new and unexpected -- apparently
            natural and admissible, if not perfectly just, and
            bearing on the subject, or the parties concerned, with
            a laughable keenness and force. "What I want," said a
            pompous orator, aiming at his antagonist, "is common
            sense." "Exactly!" was the whispered reply. The
            pleasure we find in wit arises from the ingenuity of
            the turn, the sudden surprise it brings, and the
            patness of its application to the case, in the new and
            ludicrous relations thus flashed upon the view. Humor
            is a quality more congenial to the English mind than
            wit. It consists primarily in taking up the
            peculiarities of a humorist (or eccentric person) and
            drawing them out, as Addison did those of Sir Roger de
            Coverley, so that we enjoy a hearty, good-natured
            laugh at his unconscious manifestation of whims and
            oddities. From this original sense the term has been
            widened to embrace other sources of kindly mirth of
            the same general character. In a well-known caricature
            of English reserve, an Oxford student is represented
            as standing on the brink of a river, greatly agitated
            at the sight of a drowning man before him, and crying
            out, "O that I had been introduced to this gentleman,
            that I might save his life!" The "Silent Woman" of Ben
            Jonson is one of the most humorous productions, in the
            original sense of the term, which we have in our
            language.
            [1913 Webster]

From WordNet (r) 3.0 (2006) :

  wit
      n 1: a message whose ingenuity or verbal skill or incongruity
           has the power to evoke laughter [syn: wit, humor,
           humour, witticism, wittiness]
      2: mental ability; "he's got plenty of brains but no common
         sense" [syn: brain, brainpower, learning ability,
         mental capacity, mentality, wit]
      3: a witty amusing person who makes jokes [syn: wag, wit,
         card]

From Moby Thesaurus II by Grady Ward, 1.0 :

  208 Moby Thesaurus words for "wit":
     ESP, IQ, Italian hand, ability, acumen, acuteness, address,
     adeptness, adroitness, airmanship, alertness, apprehension, art,
     artfulness, artifice, artisanship, artistry, assume, astuteness,
     awareness, balance, banana, brain, brains, bravura, brilliance,
     burlesquer, cageyness, caliber, callidity, canniness, capability,
     capacity, caricaturist, clairvoyance, cleverness, clown, comedian,
     comic, command, competence, comprehension, conceit, conceive,
     conception, control, coordination, craft, craftiness,
     craftsmanship, cunning, cunningness, cutup, deductive power,
     deftness, dexterity, dexterousness, dextrousness, diplomacy,
     discernment, discrimination, divination, droll, efficiency,
     epigrammatist, esemplastic power, esprit, expertise, facility,
     fine Italian hand, finesse, foxiness, funnyman, gag writer, gagman,
     gagster, gamesmanship, gather, grace, grasp, gray matter, grip,
     guile, handiness, head, horsemanship, humor, humorist, ideation,
     imagine, ingeniousness, ingenuity, insidiousness, insight,
     integrative power, intellect, intellectual grasp,
     intellectual power, intellectualism, intellectuality, intelligence,
     intelligence quotient, inventiveness, ironist, jester, joker,
     jokesmith, jokester, keenness, know-how, knowledge, lampooner,
     lucidity, madcap, marbles, marksmanship, mastership, mastery,
     mental age, mental capacity, mental grasp, mental ratio, mentality,
     mind, mother wit, native wit, one-upmanship, parodist, penetration,
     perception, percipience, perspicacity, power of mind,
     practical ability, prankster, proficiency, prowess, prudence,
     punner, punster, quick-wittedness, quickness, quipster,
     rationality, readiness, reason, reasoning power, reckon,
     reparteeist, resource, resourcefulness, sagaciousness, sagacity,
     sageness, saneness, sanity, sapience, satanic cunning, satirist,
     savoir-faire, savvy, scope of mind, seamanship, sense, senses,
     sensing, sharpness, shiftiness, shrewdness, skill, skillfulness,
     slipperiness, slyness, smartness, sneakiness, sophistry, stealth,
     stealthiness, style, subtilty, subtleness, subtlety, suppleness,
     suppose, tact, tactfulness, technical brilliance,
     technical mastery, technical skill, technique, think,
     thinking power, timing, trickiness, understanding, virtuosity, wag,
     wagwit, wariness, wiles, wiliness, wisdom, wisecracker,
     witlessness, witling, wizardry, workmanship, zany
  
  

From The Devil's Dictionary (1881-1906) :

  WIT, n.  The salt with which the American humorist spoils his
  intellectual cookery by leaving it out.
  

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