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From Middle English inwit (mind, reason, intellect, understanding; soul, spirit; feeling; the collection of inner faculties; one of five inner faculties; one of the outer bodily senses.; inward awareness of right or wrong, conscience), from Old English *inwitt, inġewitnes (consciousness, conscience, knowledge, knowing), equivalent to in- +‎ wit. Compare Scots inwit, Saterland Frisian Gewieten, West Frisian gewisse, Dutch geweten, German Low German Geweten, German Gewissen.



inwit (uncountable)

  1. (archaic) Inward knowledge or understanding.
    • "Will it make you happy?" / "Probably not," Kai said irritably. "Inwit tells me that you're trouble from the beginning." — Midori Snyder, Sadar's Keep, A Tom Doherty Associates Book, New York, 1991
  2. (obsolete) Conscience; inward sense of morality.
    • (Can we date this quote?) Speaking to me. They wash and tub and scrub. Agenbite of inwit. Conscience. — James Joyce, Ulysses, 1922
    • "I knew that was so. Every time that inwit twanged -- I have conscience like you, reverend sir!" -- — Marcia Davenport, Constant Image, 1960
    • (Can we date this quote?) Inwit, a term for conscience, suggests the inner senses and interior sensibility, which accords nicely with the current state of the senses under the regime of electric technologies. — Marshall McLuhan, The Agenbite of Outwit, 1998
    • "What's the matter? Can't a ballplayer - an ex-ballplayer - have a literate vocabulary?" / "Sure. But 'qualm?' " / "How about 'the aginbite of inwit' then?" — Paul Di Filippo, Seeing is believing, Fantasy & Science Fiction: Apr 2003:. Vol. 104, Iss. 4; pg. 131

Derived terms[edit]