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