Definitions

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

  • n. One who aspires to wittiness.
  • n. One who has little wit.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. a person who feigns wit, pretending or aspiring to be witty
  • n. a person with little wit

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. A person who has little wit or understanding; a pretender to wit or smartness.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. A pretender to wit; a would-be wit.

Etymologies

wit + -ling (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • He's the underdog you root for; a victimized witling in a land of condescending Talented.

    REVIEW: The Witling by Vernor Vinge

  • Azhiri that lack the Talent are known as witlings and occupy a lower social status ... except for Pelio, a witling since birth but afforded a higher social standing since he happens to be the Prince of the land of Summer.

    REVIEW: The Witling by Vernor Vinge

  • It is certainly not John the Baptist, nor John the Evangelist, nor James the Greater, nor James the Less; he must inevitably be some witling of a Hun, to write such abominable impertinence, or some ill-conditioned, malicious

    A Philosophical Dictionary

  • Nay, though it well may raise a smile of ridicule (not on the lips of a grave man perhaps, but of some facetious witling) to hear me say it, a beauty like the cadence of sweet music190 dwells even in pots and pans set out in neat array: and so, in general, fair things ever show more fair when orderly bestowed.

    Oeconomicus

  • More than one captain and more than one book on war had told Conan what his own sense said: Never trust your enemy to be a witling.

    Conan and The Mists of Door

  • "And you should call your chief groom a fool, for letting into the field a witling who'll touch another's steel without asking."

    Conan and The Mists of Door

  • Conan knew he must sound like a witling, but in this matter, he understood no more than one.

    Conan and The Gods of The Mountain

  • Had the Ichiribu sent a witling to serve her and the Cimmerian?

    Conan and The Gods of The Mountain

  • It was easy for Vidal to imagine what must be going on inside-easy to picture that smug, orphaned witling Keighvin Silverhair barking orders to weak mortals, marshaling them to fight.

    The Chrome Borne

  • "How long must I wait for you to show courage, witling?"

    Omnibus

Wordnik is becoming a not-for-profit! Read our announcement here.

Comments

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

  • "But if witlings should be inclined to attack this account, let them have the candour to quote what I have offered in my defence."

    - Boswell, in Life of Johnson

    January 21, 2012

  • 1. One who aspires to wittiness.
    2. One who has little wit.

    December 16, 2007