at your wit's end


1 [wit]
the keen perception and cleverly apt expression of those connections between ideas that awaken amusement and pleasure. drollery, facetiousness, waggishness, repartee.
speech or writing showing such perception and expression. banter, joking, witticism, quip, raillery, badinage, persiflage; bon mot.
a person having or noted for such perception and expression. wag, jester, epigrammatist, satirist.
understanding, intelligence, or sagacity; astuteness. wisdom, sense, mind.
Usually, wits.
powers of intelligent observation, keen perception, ingenious contrivance, or the like; mental acuity, composure, and resourcefulness: using one's wits to get ahead. cleverness, cunning, wisdom, insight, perspicacity, sacaciousness, acumen.
mental faculties; senses: to lose one's wits; frightened out of one's wits. mind, sanity; brains, marbles.
at one's wit's end, at the end of one's ideas or mental resources; perplexed: My two-year-old won't eat anything but pizza, and I'm at my wit's end.
keep / have one's wits about one, to remain alert and observant; be prepared for or equal to anything: to keep your wits about you in a crisis.
live by one's wits, to provide for oneself by employing ingenuity or cunning; live precariously: We traveled around the world, living by our wits.

before 900; Middle English, Old English: mind, thought; cognate with German Witz, Old Norse vit; akin to wit2

Humor, wit refer to an ability to perceive and express a sense of the clever or amusing. Humor consists principally in the recognition and expression of incongruities or peculiarities present in a situation or character. It is frequently used to illustrate some fundamental absurdity in human nature or conduct, and is generally thought of as more kindly than wit: a genial and mellow type of humor; his biting wit. Wit is a purely intellectual manifestation of cleverness and quickness of apprehension in discovering analogies between things really unlike, and expressing them in brief, diverting, and often sharp observations or remarks. Unabridged


1 [end]
the last part or extremity, lengthwise, of anything that is longer than it is wide or broad: the end of a street; the end of a rope.
a point, line, or limitation that indicates the full extent, degree, etc., of something; limit; bounds: kindness without end; to walk from end to end of a city.
a part or place at or adjacent to an extremity: at the end of the table; the west end of town.
the furthermost imaginable place or point: an island at the very end of the world.
termination; conclusion: The journey was coming to an end.
the concluding part: The end of her speech had to be cut short because of time.
an intention or aim: to gain one's ends.
the object for which a thing exists; purpose: The happiness of the people is the end of government.
an outcome or result: What is to be the end of all this bickering?
termination of existence; death: He met a horrible end.
a cause of death, destruction, or ruin: Another war would be the end of civilization.
a remnant or fragment: mill end; ends and trimmings.
a share or part in something: He does his end of the job very well.
Textiles. a warp thread running vertically and interlaced with the filling yarn in the woven fabric.
either of the linemen stationed farthest from the center.
the position played by this lineman.
Archery. the number of arrows to be shot by a competitor during one turn in a match.
Cricket. a wicket, especially the one where the batsman is taking a turn.
a unit of a game, as in curling or lawn bowling.
Kantianism. any rational being, regarded as worthy to exist for its own sake.
either half of a domino.
Knots. the part of a rope, beyond a knot or the like, that is not used.
the end, Slang. the ultimate; the utmost of good or bad: His stupidity is the end.
verb (used with object)
to bring to an end or conclusion: We ended the discussion on a note of optimism.
to put an end to; terminate: This was the battle that ended the war.
to form the end of: This passage ends the novel.
to cause the demise of; kill: A bullet through the heart ended him.
to constitute the most outstanding or greatest possible example or instance of (usually used in the infinitive): You just committed the blunder to end all blunders.
verb (used without object)
to come to an end; terminate; cease: The road ends at Rome.
to issue or result: Extravagance ends in want.
to reach or arrive at a final condition, circumstance, or goal (often followed by up ): to end up in the army; to end as a happy person.
final or ultimate: the end result.
at loose ends, without an occupation or plans; unsettled; uncertain: He spent two years wandering about the country at loose ends.
at one's wit's end, at the end of one's ideas or mental resources; perplexed: I'm at my wit's end with this problem. Also, at one's wits' end.
end for end, in reverse position; inverted: The cartons were turned end for end.
end on, with the end next to or facing: He backed the truck until it was end on with the loading platform.
end to end, in a row with ends touching: The pipes were placed end to end on the ground.
go off the deep end, Informal. to act in a reckless or agitated manner; lose emotional control: She went off the deep end when she lost her job.
in the end, finally; after all: In the end they shook hands and made up.
keep / hold one's end up, to perform one's part or share adequately: The work is demanding, but he's holding his end up.
make an end of, to conclude; stop: Let's make an end of this foolishness and get down to work.
make ends meet, to live within one's means: Despite her meager income, she tried to make ends meet. Also, make both ends meet.
no end, Informal. very much or many: They were pleased no end by the warm reception.
on end,
having the end down; upright: to stand a box on end.
continuously; successively: They talked for hours on end.
put an end to, to cause to stop; terminate; finish: The advent of sound in motion pictures put an end to many a silent star's career.

before 900; Middle English, Old English ende; cognate with Old Frisian enda, Middle Dutch e(i)nde, Old Saxon endi, Old High German anti, G Ende, Old Norse endi(r), Gothic andeis end < Germanic *anthjá-; akin to Sanskrit ánta- end

ender, noun

4. tip, bound, limit, terminus. 5. End, close, conclusion, finish, outcome refer to the termination of something. End implies a natural termination or completion, or an attainment of purpose: the end of a day, of a race; to some good end. Close often implies a planned rounding off of something in process: the close of a conference. Conclusion suggests a decision or arrangement: All evidence leads to this conclusion; the conclusion of peace terms. Finish emphasizes completion of something begun: a fight to the finish. Outcome suggests the issue of something that was in doubt: the outcome of a game. 7. See aim. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
Cite This Source Link To at your wit's end
World English Dictionary
wit1 (wɪt)
1.  the talent or quality of using unexpected associations between contrasting or disparate words or ideas to make a clever humorous effect
2.  speech or writing showing this quality
3.  a person possessing, showing, or noted for such an ability, esp in repartee
4.  practical intelligence (esp in the phrase have the wit to)
5.  dialect (Scot), (Northern English) information or knowledge (esp in the phrase get wit of)
6.  archaic mental capacity or a person possessing it
7.  obsolete the mind or memory
[Old English witt; related to Old Saxon giwitt, Old High German wizzi (German Witz), Old Norse vit, Gothic witi. See wit²]

wit2 (wɪt)
1.  archaic to be or become aware of (something)
2.  to wit that is to say; namely (used to introduce statements, as in legal documents)
[Old English witan; related to Old High German wizzan (German wissen), Old Norse vita, Latin vidēre to see]

end1 (ɛnd)
1.  the extremity of the length of something, such as a road, line, etc
2.  the surface at either extremity of a three-dimensional object
3.  the extreme extent, limit, or degree of something
4.  the most distant place or time that can be imagined: the ends of the earth
5.  the time at which something is concluded
6.  a.  the last section or part
 b.  (as modifier): the end office Related: final, terminal, ultimate
7.  a share or part: his end of the bargain
8.  (often plural) a remnant or fragment (esp in the phrase odds and ends)
9.  a final state, esp death; destruction
10.  the purpose of an action or existence
11.  sport either of the two defended areas of a playing field, rink, etc
12.  bowls, curling a section of play from one side of the rink to the other
13.  American football a player at the extremity of the playing line; wing
14.  all ends up totally or completely
15.  informal (US), (Canadian) a sticky end an unpleasant death
16.  at a loose end, at loose ends without purpose or occupation
17.  at an end exhausted or completed
18.  at the end of the day See day
19.  come to an end to become completed or exhausted
20.  end on
 a.  with the end pointing towards one
 b.  with the end adjacent to the end of another object
21.  informal go off the deep end to lose one's temper; react angrily
22.  slang get one's end away to have sexual intercourse
23.  in the end finally
24.  keep one's end up
 a.  to sustain one's part in a joint enterprise
 b.  to hold one's own in an argument, contest, etc
25.  make ends meet, make both ends meet to spend no more than the money one has
26.  informal no end, no end of (intensifier): I had no end of work
27.  on end
 a.  upright
 b.  without pause or interruption
28.  informal the end
 a.  the worst, esp something that goes beyond the limits of endurance
 b.  chiefly (US) the best in quality
29.  the end of the road the point beyond which survival or continuation is impossible
30.  throw someone in at the deep end to put someone into a new situation, job, etc, without preparation or introduction
31.  to bring or come to a finish; conclude
32.  to die or cause to die
33.  (tr) to surpass; outdo: a novel to end all novels
34.  informal end it all to commit suicide
Related: final, terminal, ultimate
[Old English ende; related to Old Norse endir, Gothic andeis, Old High German endi, Latin antiae forelocks, Sanskrit antya last]

end2 (ɛnd)
(Brit) (tr) to put (hay or grain) into a barn or stack
[Old English innian; related to Old High German innōn; see inn]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
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Word Origin & History

"mental capacity," O.E. wit, more commonly gewit, from P.Gmc. *witjan (cf. O.S. wit, O.N. vit, Dan. vid, Swed. vett, O.Fris. wit, O.H.G. wizzi "knowledge, understanding, intelligence, mind," Ger. Witz "wit, witticism, joke," Goth. unwiti "ignorance"), from PIE *woid-/*weid-/*wid- "to see," metaphorically
"to know" (see vision). Related to O.E. witan "to know" (source of wit (v.)). Meaning "ability to make clever remarks in an amusing way" is first recorded 1542; that of "person of wit or learning" is from c.1470. Witticism coined 1677, by Dryden. For nuances of usage, see humor.
"A witty saying proves nothing." [Voltaire, Diner du Comte de Boulainvilliers]

"know," O.E. witan "to know," from P.Gmc. *witanan "to have seen," hence "to know" (cf. O.S. witan, O.N. vita, O.Fris. wita, M.Du., Du. weten, O.H.G. wizzan, Ger. wissen, Goth. witan "to know"); see wit (n.). The phrase to wit, almost the only surviving use of the verb, is
first recorded 1577, from earlier that is to wit (1340), probably a loan-translation of Anglo-Fr. cestasavoir, used to render L. videlicet (see viz.).

O.E. ende, from P.Gmc. *andja (cf. O.Fris. enda, O.N. endir, O.H.G. enti), originally "the opposite side," from PIE *antjo "end, boundary," from base anta-/*anti- "opposite, in front of, before" (see ante). Original sense of "outermost part" is obsolete except in phrase ends
of the earth. Sense of "destruction, death" was in O.E. Meaning "division or quarter of a town" was in O.E. The verb is from O.E. endian. The end "the last straw, the limit" (in a disparaging sense) is from 1929. The phrase end run is first attested 1902 in U.S. football; extended to military tactics in World War II; general fig. sense is from 1968. End time in ref. to the end of the world is from 1917. Be-all and end-all is from Shakespeare ("Macbeth" I.vii.5).
"Worldly wealth he cared not for, desiring onely to make both ends meet." [1662]
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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American Heritage
Abbreviations & Acronyms
witness (shortwave transmission)
The American Heritage® Abbreviations Dictionary, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
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Bible Dictionary

End definition

in Heb. 13:7, is the rendering of the unusual Greek word _ekbasin_, meaning "outcome", i.e., death. It occurs only elsewhere in 1 Cor. 10:13, where it is rendered "escape."

Easton's 1897 Bible Dictionary
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