The Meaning of Quip: What It Is and How To Use It

Do you know the definition of quip? This article will provide you with all of the information you need on the word quip, including its definition, etymology, usage, example sentences, and more!

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What does the word quip mean?

According to Collins English Dictionary and the American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, the word quip is a noun and a verb that means to make an amusing or clever remark, or to refer to the remark itself. The suffix py can be added to the end of the word to form the related word quippy (adj.) Quippy quips are meant to spur laughter and also be clever. One can also add the suffixes ed and ing to form different tenses of quip like the past participle, present participle and past tense.

There are many different languages that also use words that mean quip. You may notice that some of these translations look and sound similar to the word quip. These cognates are often formed when two words of different languages share a common origin, such as Latin or Greek. This list of translations for the word quip is provided by Word Sense.

  •  Hungarian: beszólás‎
  •  Urdu: طعنہ‎ (taana)
  •  Greek: σκώμμα‎ (neut.), χαριτολόγημα‎ (neut.), πείραγμα‎ (neut.)
  •  Swedish: kvickhet‎ (common)
  •  Russian: ко́лкость‎ (fem.), остро́та‎ (fem.)
  •  Finnish: sutkaus‎, sivallus‎
  •  Italian: freddura‎ (fem.), battuta‎ (fem.), frizzo‎ (masc.)
  •  Telugu: వ్యంగ్యంగా చమత్కరించు‎ , వెటకారం చేయు‎
  •  Arabic: طعني‎
  •  French: blague‎ (fem.), plaisanterie‎ (fem.)
  •  Turkish: espri‎
  •  Czech: vtípek‎ (masc.)
  •  German: geistreiche Bemerkung‎ (fem.), Witz‎ (masc.), Witzelei‎ (fem.), Stichelei‎ (fem.), Erwiderung‎ (fem.), Retourkutsche‎ (fem.), Spöttelei‎ (fem.)
  •  Occitan: trufada‎, galejada‎, escarni‎, trach d’esperit‎

What are synonyms and antonyms of quip?

There are many different words that can be used in place of the word quip. These are called synonyms, which are words and phrases that have the same definition as another word or phrase. Synonyms are useful to know if you are trying to avoid repeating yourself or if you are simply looking to expand your vocabulary! This list of synonyms is provided by Power Thesaurus.

  •  sally
  •  cracks
  •  double entendre
  •  wisecracks
  •  clever remark
  •  bantered
  •  apophthegm
  •  witticism
  •  chestnut
  •  scoff
  •  squib
  •  tell jokes
  •  gagged
  •  joke
  •  funned
  •  paronomasia
  •  mock
  •  tease
  •  cutting remark
  •  bon mot
  •  rib
  •  sneer
  •  jibe
  •  fun
  •  drollery
  •  witticisms
  •  back answer
  •  jeer
  •  insult
  •  play tricks
  •  happy thought
  •  banter
  •  gags
  •  often verbal
  •  flash of wit
  •  aphorism
  •  one-liner
  •  bantering
  •  crack jokes
  •  comeback
  •  funny remark
  •  ha-ha
  •  pleasantry
  •  laugh
  •  zinger
  •  mockery
  •  funny story
  •  repartee
  •  puns
  •  josh
  •  rib-tickler
  •  kid
  •  taunt
  •  barb
  •  jokes
  •  pun
  •  gag
  •  prank
  •  joking
  •  epigram
  •  sallies
  •  deride
  •  calembour
  •  make fun of
  •  witty communication
  •  epigrams
  •  equivoque
  •  razz
  •  pleasantries
  •  mot
  •  witty remark
  •  yuk
  •  crack
  •  ridicule
  •  conceit
  •  gagging
  •  clever comment
  •  jest
  •  bright thought
  •  brilliant idea
  •  punning
  •  riposte
  •  wisecrack
  •  wordplay
  •  jests
  •  gibe
  •  dig
  •  put-down
  •  quirk
  •  jesuitism
  •  irony
  •  rag
  •  smart remark
  •  flout
  •  retort
  •  jape
  •  play on words
  •  trick
  •  satire
  •  funny

What is the origin of the word quip?

According to Etymonilne, the word quip has been used to refer to a smart or sarcastic remark since the 1530s. This word has been used as a variant alteration and back formation of quippy, a word that is also from the 16c. This comes from the Latin quippe used sarcastically, from the Latin quid meaning what. This is the neuter of the pronoun quis, meaning who, from the Proto-Indo-European roots kwo and pe. Related words include quibble.

What are examples of quips?

There are many different popular quips you may hear in everyday speech. Below are many examples of quips from Fun Stuff to Do.

  •  Start every day off with a smile and get it over with. – W. C. Fields
  •  I was very unpopular as a child, not even the neighbor’s kids imaginary friends wanted to befriend me, don’t let people affect you – Gilliana De Angelis.
  •  Everybody knows how to raise children, except the people who have them – P. J. O’Rourke.
  •  California is a fine place to live – if you happen to be an orange – Fred Allen.
  •  The problems that exist in the world today cannot be solved by the level of thinking that created them – Albert Einstein.
  •  If Stupidity got us into this mess, then why can’t it get us out? – Will Rogers.
  •  My wife dresses to kill. She cooks the same way – Henny Youngman.
  •  Ireland – One race of people for whom psychoanalysis is of no use whatsoever – Sigmund Freud.
  •  I know why the sun never sets on the British Empire: God wouldn’t trust an Englishman in the dark – Duncan Spaeth.
  •  Anger can be an expensive luxury – Italian Proverb
  •  The greatest risk is to risk nothing at all – Leo Buscaglia.
  •  France is a country where the money falls apart but you can’t tear the toilet paper – Billy Wilder.
  •  Happiness is having a large, loving, caring, close-knit family in another city – George Burns.
  •  Her only flair is in her nostrils – Pauline Kael.
  •  For your information, I would like to ask a question – Samuel Goldwyn.
  •  Better to light a candle than curse the darkness – Chinese Proverb.

How can the word quip be used in a sentence?

There are many different ways a person can use the word quip in a sentence. Using words in a sentence is a great way to memorize their definition and expand your vocabulary. Try using this word of the day in a sentence today! Below are a few examples of the word quip to get you started.

The viewers laughed at the quick quips and witty comments that the much younger female nominee lobbed at the 86-year-old male senator in the debate. She was formerly a waitress, and knew how to pull off a successful quip against the old man.

They enjoyed the merry quip in Mark Twain’s writing. Much like Dorothy Parker, the famous writer was amazing at making the wittiness not feel like an afterthought.

Fred’s tightness and quippy way of speaking made him a great success in his interview for Princeton University. The interviewer was laughing all the way through the interview, and thought he was very smart. He could joke about geological events, and anything from a moth to a buck.

Overall, the word quip means a clever saying, severe retort, or sarcastic turn. This word can be used as a noun or a verb.


  1. Quip synonyms – 763 Words and Phrases for Quip | Power Thesaurus 
  2. Witty Quips | 500+ Wittiest Quips On This Planet | Fun Stuff to Do 
  3. quip: meaning, origin, translation | Word Sense 
  4. Quip definition and meaning | Collins English Dictionary 
  5. quip | Origin and meaning of quip | Online Etymology Dictionary