04 January 2005

Word for the Day

riposte \rih-POST\, noun:
1. A quick thrust given after parrying an opponent’s lunge in fencing.
2. A quick and effective reply by word or act.
intransitive verb
To make a riposte.

She had an agile, teasing sense of humor that included a sure grasp of the absurd and an instinct for punchy ripostes.
--Sally Bedell Smith, Diana in Search of Herself

It was an inelegant riposte, especially for one so quick-witted as Neumann.
--Peter Gay, My German Question

When she told him how much she hated being called an old trout, he’d riposte: "The trout is the most beautiful of fish."
--Angela Carter,
Shaking a Leg
Riposte derives from Italian risposta, "an answer," from rispondere, "to answer," from Latin respondere, "to promise in return, to answer," from re- + spondere, "to promise."

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