witty

witty, humorous, facetious, jocular, jocose are comparable when they apply to persons and their utterances and mean provoking or intended to provoke laughter or smiles.
Witty (compare WIT) suggests a high degree of cleverness and quickness in discerning amusing congruities or incongruities; it may connote sparkling pleasantry, especially in repartee, but it often suggests sarcasm or causticity
{

her tongue was as sharp and witty as ever— Sackville-West

}
{

there's no possibility of being witty without a little ill- nature; the malice of a good thing is the barb that makes it stick— Sheridan

}
Humorous is a generic term applied to whoever or whatever provokes laughter
{

a humorous account of a picnic

}
{

a humorous lecture

}
{

the humorous characters of Shakespeare's plays

}
As opposed to witty, humorous often suggests sensibility rather than intellect, sympathy rather than aloofness in criticism, and sometimes, whimsicality rather than direct insight; thus, Pope is often described as a witty, Burns as a humorous, poet
{

whose humorous vein, strong sense, and simple style may teach the gayest, make the gravest smile— Cowper

}
{

the genius of the Italians is acute . . . but not subtle; hence, what they think to be humorous is merely wittyColeridge

}
Facetious usually applies to clumsy or inappropriate jesting or, somewhat derogatorily, to attempts at wittiness or humorousness that please their maker more than others
{

probably the most tedious bore on earth is the man who feels it incumbent upon him always to be facetious and to turn everything into a joke— Fiske

}
{

her lines were weak facetious echoes of a style of college slang ten years outmoded— Wouk

}
Jocular also implies a fondness for jesting and joking but suggests as its motive the desire to make others laugh or to keep them amused. It need not imply loquaciousness but it tends to suggest a sustained jolly mood or habit of temperament
{

his more solemn and stately brother, at whom he laughed in his jocular way—Thackeray

}
{

the watercolor lesson enlivened by the jocular conversation of the kindly, humorous old man was always great fun— Conrad

}
Jocose suggests waggishness or sportiveness in jesting and joking; it often comes close to facetious in suggesting clumsy inappropriate jesting
{

sundry jocose proposals that the ladies should sit in the gentlemen's laps— Dickens

}
Analogous words: amusing, diverting, entertaining (see AMUSE): sparkling, scintillating (see FLASH vb): *caustic, mordant, acrid, scathing: penetrating, piercing, probing (see ENTER)

New Dictionary of Synonyms. 2014.

Synonyms:

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Witty — Wit ty, a. [Compar. {Wittier}; superl. {Wittiest}.] [AS. witig, wittig. See {Wit}, n.] [1913 Webster] 1. Possessed of wit; knowing; wise; skillful; judicious; clever; cunning. [Obs.] The deep revolving witty Buckingham. Shak. [1913 Webster] 2.… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Witty — bezeichnet: Witty Wurm, Computer Schadsoftware Chris Witty (* 1975), US amerikanische Eisschnellläuferin Diese Seite ist eine Begriffsklärung zur Unterscheidung mehrerer mit demselben Wort bezeichneter Begriffe …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • witty — [wit′ē] adj. wittier, wittiest [ME witti < OE wittig < wit, knowledge: see WIT1] 1. having, showing, or characterized by wit; cleverly amusing 2. Now Dial. intelligent; clever wittily adv. wittiness n. SYN. WITTY …   English World dictionary

  • witty — index jocular Burton s Legal Thesaurus. William C. Burton. 2006 …   Law dictionary

  • witty — O.E. wittig clever, wise; see WIT (Cf. wit) (n.) intellect + Y (Cf. y) (2). Meaning possessing sparkling wit is recorded from 1580s …   Etymology dictionary

  • witty — [adj] funny and clever amusing, bright, brilliant, campy*, crazy*, diverting, droll, entertaining, epigrammatic, facetious, fanciful, gay, humorous, ingenious, intelligent, jocose, jocular, joshing, keen, lively, original, penetrating, piercing,… …   New thesaurus

  • witty — ► ADJECTIVE (wittier, wittiest) ▪ showing or characterized by quick and inventive verbal humour. DERIVATIVES wittily adverb wittiness noun …   English terms dictionary

  • witty — adjective (wittier; est) Date: before 12th century 1. archaic having good intellectual capacity ; intelligent 2. amusingly or ingeniously clever in conception or execution < the costumes are sumptuous and witty Virgil Thomson > < the musical… …   New Collegiate Dictionary

  • witty */ — UK [ˈwɪtɪ] / US adjective Word forms witty : adjective witty comparative wittier superlative wittiest clever and funny She tried to think of something original and witty to say. a witty, intelligent, and affable man a very witty film script… …   English dictionary

  • witty — adj. witty of (that was witty of her) * * * [ wɪtɪ] witty of (that was witty of her) …   Combinatory dictionary

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”

We are using cookies for the best presentation of our site. Continuing to use this site, you agree with this.