Definitions

from The Century Dictionary.

  • To make sure; inform; declare (that).
  • Knowing; certain; sure.

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

  • adjective knowing, certain, sure, wis.
  • verb intransitive, intransitive to make sure, inform, or declare.
  • verb intransitive to speak at length on a trivial subject.

Etymologies

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Middle English witter, witer, of North Germanic origin, from Old Norse vitr ("wise, knowing"), from Proto-Germanic *witraz (“knowing”), from Proto-Indo-European *weyd- (“to know”). Cognate with Icelandic vitur ("wise"). More at wit, wis.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Middle English witteren, witeren, of North Germanic origin, from Old Norse vitra ("to make wise, make sure"), from Proto-Germanic *witrōnan (“to make wise”), from Proto-Indo-European *weyd- (“to know”). Cognate with Icelandic vitra ("to make wise, make certain"), Icelandic vitur ("wise"). More at wit, wis.

Examples

  • Being a professor of management, Lee is duty-bound to witter on about governance structures and such, which he does at length, but his main point is simple, indeed trivial: it's prudent to treat people the way Diab was treated.

    Archive 2009-08-01

  • Clearly, I could witter on about this play for screens and screens.

    Measure For Measure

  • Clearly, I could witter on about this play for screens and screens.

    Measure For Measure

  • In point of fact, he gets paid (handsomely) to witter on in a quintessentially superficial and shallow way about his thoughts on pork chops, the NBA, teenage sex parties, and free trade.

    Matthew Yglesias » Endgame

  • Preferably they'll be human (Meryl Streep and Julie Walters form a conga-line of shoulders to cry on in Mamma Mia!) but if not, you can always witter into a tape recorder in lieu of a voiceover.

    Film-inspired holidays: The Journey of self-discovery

  • Meanwhile the Usual Suspects ™ witter on about that phantasmal, oxymoronic contruction, "liberal fascism."

    Archive 2009-02-01

  • The US has a black president and all we want to do is witter over the fashion jargon for the exact shade of his wife's frock.

    Please give generously, but not to Poverty TV

  • I could witter on about stone age barbarians who if they want to live under Sharia law etc etc but they have a right to free speech and no matter how offensive should not of been prosecuted.

    Giving evidence to the Chilcot inquiry, Tony Blair said: “I...

  • I could witter on about stone age barbarians who if they want to live under Sharia law etc etc but they have a right to free speech and no matter how offensive should not of been prosecuted.

    Giving evidence to the Chilcot inquiry, Tony Blair said: “I...

  • A decade or so later, when I had somehow managed to con a number of apparently intelligent people into paying me good money to witter on about nothing in particular, I was sent to Monaco to talk to Ed Moses.

    The secret to being a sporting great is not really trying

Comments

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  • To chatter or babble at undue length.

    May 13, 2008