repartee


repartee

noun

  1. a quick, witty reply.
  2. conversation full of such replies.
  3. skill in making such replies.

noun

  1. a sharp, witty, or aphoristic remark made as a reply
  2. terse rapid conversation consisting of such remarks
  3. skill in making sharp witty replies or conversation
n.

1640s, “quick remark,” from French repartie “an answering blow or thrust” (originally a fencing term), noun use of fem. past participle of Old French repartir “to reply promptly, start out again,” from re- “back” (see re-) + partir “to part, depart, start” (see part (n.)). In 17c. often spelled reparty (see -ee). Meaning “a series of sharp rejoinders exchanged” is from 1680s.

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