Word Origin & History

M.E. word meaning "conscience" (early 13c.), "reason, intellect" (c.1300), from in (adv.) + wit (n.). Not related to O.E. inwit, which meant "deceit." Joyce's use in "Ulysses" (1922), which echoes the 14c. work "Ayenbite of Inwyt," is perhaps the best-known example of the modern use of the word as a
conscious archaism.
"Þese ben also þy fyve inwyttys: Wyl, Resoun, Mynd, Ymaginacioun, and Thoght" [Wyclif, c.1380]
"If ... such good old English words as inwit and wanhope should be rehabilitated (and they have been pushing up their heads for thirty years), we should gain a great deal." [Robert Bridges, 1922]
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Cite This Source
Previous Definition: inwind
Next Definition: inwith
Words Near: inwit
More from
Synonyms and Antonyms for inwit
More from
Search for articles containing inwit
More from Translator Word FAQs presents 366 FAQs, incorporating some of the frequently asked questions from the past with newer queries.

Related Searches
Copyright © 2014, LLC. All rights reserved.
  • Please Login or Sign Up to use the Recent Searches feature