native wit

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English[edit]

Noun[edit]

native wit (uncountable)

  1. The intelligence or common sense with which one is normally born.
    • 1781, Samuel Johnson, "Samuel Butler" in Lives of the Poets:
      But the most valuable parts of his performance are those which retired study and native wit cannot supply.
    • c. 1870, Bayard Taylor, "Mrs. Strongitharm's Report" in Beauty and The Beast and Tales of Home:
      Nelly Kirkpatrick was a great, red-haired giant of a woman, very illiterate, but with some native wit, and good-hearted enough, I am told, when she was in her right mind.
    • 1916, H. Rider Haggard, The Ivory Child, ch. 8:
      Or we might go practically unaccompanied, relying on our native wit and good fortune to attain our ends.
    • 1978, "Music: Luciano's Back in Town," Time, 6 March:
      But with his native wit and musical intelligence, Pavarotti cannot act dumb.
    • 2011, Judith Woods, "The Royal Family: Put a royal sock in it, Sarah," telegraph.co.uk, 9 March (retrieved 4 April 2011):
      Needy, venal and entirely unencumbered with self-knowledge or native wit, the Duchess is yet again the architect of her own misfortune.

Synonyms[edit]