1. a quick, sharp return in speech or action; counterstroke: a brilliant riposte to an insult.
  2. Fencing. a quick thrust given after parrying a lunge.

verb (used without object), ri·post·ed, ri·post·ing.

  1. to make a riposte.
  2. to reply or retaliate.


  1. a swift sharp reply in speech or action
  2. fencing a counterattack made immediately after a successful parry


  1. (intr) to make a riposte

1707, “a quick thrust after parrying a lunge,” a fencing term, from French riposte, by dissimilation from risposte (17c.), from Italian risposta “a reply,” noun use of fem. past participle of rispondere “to respond,” from Latin respondere (see respond). Sense of “sharp retort; quick, sharp reply,” is first attested 1865. As a verb, 1851.

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