From Middle English, from Old English wiht (“wight, person, creature, being, whit, thing, something, anything”), from Proto-Germanic *wihtą (“thing, creature”) or Proto-Germanic *wihtiz (“essence, object”), from Proto-Indo-European *wekti- (“cause, sake, thing”), from Proto-Indo-European *wekʷ- (“to say, tell”). Cognate with Old High German wiht (“creature, thing”), Dutch wicht, German Wicht. See also wight.
- enPR: wĭt, hwĭt, IPA(key): /wɪt/, /ʍɪt/
- Rhymes: -ɪt
- Homophone: wit (in accents with the wine-whine merger)
whit (plural whits)
- The smallest part or particle imaginable; an iota.
- He worked tirelessly to collect and wind a ball of string eight feet around, and it matters not one whit.
- English: white