from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • noun Informal A foolishly annoying person.
  • noun A reproach, gibe, or taunt.
  • transitive verb To taunt, ridicule, or tease, especially for embarrassing mistakes or faults.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun A thin, weak place in a thread of wool, cotton, etc.
  • To reproach; upbraid, especially with, past follies, errors, or offenses; annoy by reproaches; taunt.
  • To charge or reproach with; upbraid on account of; bring forward as a taunt.
  • Synonyms Chaff, Mock, etc. See taunt.
  • noun A reproach; a taunt; an upbraiding or gibing reminder or insinuation.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • transitive verb To vex by bringing to notice, or reminding of, a fault, defect, misfortune, or the like; to revile; to reproach; to upbraid; to taunt.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • verb transitive To reproach, blame; to ridicule or tease.
  • verb transitive, computing To ignore or killfile (a user on a bulletin board system).
  • noun A reproach, gibe or taunt.
  • noun A foolish or annoying person.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • noun aggravation by deriding or mocking or criticizing
  • noun someone who is regarded as contemptible
  • verb harass with persistent criticism or carping


from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

[From shortening of obsolete atwite, to reproach, taunt, from Middle English atwiten, from Old English ætwītan : æt, at; see at + wītan, to reproach; see weid- in Indo-European roots.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

Originally twite, an aphetism of Middle English atwite.


Help support Wordnik (and make this page ad-free) by adopting the word twit.



Log in or sign up to get involved in the conversation. It's quick and easy.

  • It's not! Neither is prat, twat or twerp. It's a very common urban legend (I heard it when I was very small).

    May 7, 2008

  • I wonder at what point misinformation like this becomes 'fact'. After all, when it comes to names of things, we might ask "according to whom?"

    May 8, 2008

  • Goldfish lay eggs. They can't get pregnant.

    May 8, 2008

  • Ah, then the 'twit' is ironic. (points to self)

    May 8, 2008

  • Surely if silence can be pregnant, a goldfish can be too...

    May 8, 2008

  • I had a goldfish named Chad. After Tiffany brought her goldfish, Rebecca, over for a sleepover, we discovered the we had a pregnant Chad on our hands.

    Chad was the son of a very famous, but strict, federal judge, known as hanging Chad.

    May 8, 2008

  • And since silence is golden...

    May 9, 2008

  • Twits with bells on their ankles

    belt each other with pig bladders.

    - Peter Reading, Almanac, from Nothing for Anyone, 1977

    June 26, 2008

  • I'm in the mood for a pig-bladder fight RIGHT NOW!

    June 26, 2008

  • *whumps frogapplause with a pig bladder*

    June 26, 2008

  • Hey, there's life on Mars...

    June 26, 2008

  • *gets a pig bladder in his face by accident, and can finally sleep*

    June 26, 2008

  • *checks pockets*

    *checks pockets again*

    Darn. Where's that pig bladder when you need it?

    June 26, 2008

  • BTW: The goldfish are not silent, pregnant or not. Two quotes from the animal communication group at Facebook:Goldfish are surprisingly chatty! Whenever we head to Walmart, I stop to talk with the fish. The goldfish are all so talkative and giddy. So are our golden dojo loaches and the irridescent sharks. -- I had two golden dojo's, they were amazing! I loved sitting in front of the aquarium and talk to them for hours. They were truly wonderful to speak with. I had a gold fish that lived for over 8 years, he was very talkative as well." Things are not always as they seem to be.

    March 10, 2009

  • I knew this word as a noun but not as a verb - until I read this:

    "The view from the bridge over the Serpentine has an extraordinary nobleness, and it has often seemed to me that the Londoner twitted with his low standard may point to it with every confidence."

    English Hours by Henry James, p 10 of the Oxford University Press paperback edition

    September 12, 2010

  • What a margaritaceous comment! It's thinful!

    September 12, 2010

  • a weak place to cotton to(o) (near( and dear)) ! It is thinfull! (Oh so fine a find!)

    November 20, 2012

  • Short for Twitter the app, or the verb to tweet. twit and snap

    June 13, 2016

  • "“like a pretentious twit.”"

    Source: What does it mean for a journalist today to be a Serious Reader?

    January 22, 2018