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[nit-wit] /ˈnɪtˌwɪt/
a slow-witted, stupid, or foolish person.
Origin of nitwit
1920-25; nit (< German; dialectal variant of nicht not) + wit1(in the sense of ‘intelligence’)
fool, blockhead, dolt, dunce, booby. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for nitwit
  • Such a nitwit conspiracy among a large group of scientists would have a half-life of about three seconds tops.
  • Chalmers is a nitwit and an opportunist who steals ideas from others.
  • Now it seems you righties want him to be a secret nitwit as well.
  • Another nitwit cog in the wheel trying to make it palatable, and for you suckers out there, don't worry it'll get better.
British Dictionary definitions for nitwit


(informal) a foolish person
Word Origin
C20: perhaps from nit1 + wit1
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for nitwit

"stupid person," 1922, probably from nit "nothing," from dialectal German or Yiddish, from Middle Low German (see nix) + wit (n.).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Slang definitions & phrases for nitwit



A stupid person; fool; boob

[1922+; perhaps fr nit, fr German dialect, ''no,'' found by 1909, plus wit]

The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
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