Word of the DayWednesday, July 25, 2007
\ri-POHST\ , noun;
a quick, sharp return in speech or action; counterstroke: a brilliant riposte to an insult.
Fencing. a quick thrust given after parrying a lunge.
to reply or retaliate.
He remembered von Neumann's sly riposte to Oppenheimer's famous words quoted from the Bhagavad Gita after the Trinity implosion was heard around the world on July 16, 1945.
-- Bradford Morrow, Ariel's Crossing, 2002
Bantering, smart but tentative as shy circling children, both of us checking covertly after each riposte to make sure we hadn't crossed any line or hurt any feelings.
-- Tana French, In the Woods, 2007
Riposte comes from the French word of the same spelling which means "a prompt answer."
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