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

  • noun A swift, witty reply.
  • noun Conversation marked by the exchange of witty retorts.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • To make ready and witty replies.
  • noun A ready, pertinent, and witty reply.
  • noun Such replies in general or collectively; the kind of wit involved in making sharp and ready retorts.
  • noun Synonyms Repartee, Retort. A repartee is a witty and good-humored answer to a remark of similar character, and is meant to surpass the latter in wittiness. A retort is a keen, prompt answer. A repartee may be called a retort where the wit is keen. Retort, however, is quite as commonly used for a serious turning back of censure, derision, or the like, in a short and sharp expression.

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

  • noun A smart, ready, and witty reply.
  • intransitive verb rare To make smart and witty replies.

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

  • noun A swift, witty reply, especially the one that is amusing.
  • noun A conversation marked by a series of witty retorts.
  • verb To reply with a repartee
  • verb To have a repartee (conversation marked by repartees)

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

  • noun adroitness and cleverness in reply


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

[French repartie, from feminine past participle of repartir, to retort, from Old French, to retort, to depart again : re-, re- + partir, to depart (from Latin partīre, to divide, from pars, part-, part; see perə- in Indo-European roots).]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From French repartie, deverbal of repartir ("to retort")


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  • JM is enjoying the book on witty repartee ‘Of Human Badinage’.

    August 26, 2011