1 [wahyt]
a fine imposed by a king or lord on a subject who committed a serious crime.
a fee demanded for granting a special privilege.
Chiefly Scot. responsibility for a crime, fault, or misfortune; blame.
verb (used with object), wited, witing.
Chiefly Scot. to blame for; declare guilty of.
Also, wyte.

before 900; (noun) Middle English, Old English wīte penalty; cognate with Old High German wīzi, Old Norse vīti; (v.) Middle English witen, Old English wītan to blame

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2 [wahyt]
a present plural of wit2.


2 [wit]
verb (used with object), verb (used without object), present singular 1st person wot, 2nd wost, 3rd wot, present plural wit or wite; past and past participle wist; present participle witting.
Archaic. to know.
to wit, that is to say; namely: It was the time of the vernal equinox, to wit, the beginning of spring.

before 900; Middle English witen, Old English witan; cognate with Dutch weten, German wissen, Old Norse vita, Gothic witan to know; akin to Latin vidēre, Greek ideîn to see, Sanskrit vidati (he) knows. See wot

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Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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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]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
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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.).
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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Example sentences
Six acres of new hog wite fence was washed down a clump of trees and mixed with dead trees, much and mud.
We will be pleased to cor respond wite those who may contemplate changes or opening accounts.
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