Wit vs. Humour

By Jaxson

Main Difference

The main difference between Wit and Humour is that the Wit is a form of humour and Humour is a tendency of particular cognitive experiences to provoke laughter and provide amusement.

  • Wit

    Wit is a form of intelligent humour, the ability to say or write things that are clever and usually funny. A wit is a person skilled at making clever and funny remarks. Forms of wit include the quip, repartee, and wisecrack.

  • Humour

    Humour (British English), also spelt as humor (American English; see spelling differences), is the tendency of experiences to provoke laughter and provide amusement. The term derives from the humoral medicine of the ancient Greeks, which taught that the balance of fluids in the human body, known as humours (Latin: humor, “body fluid”), controlled human health and emotion.

    People of all ages and cultures respond to humour. Most people are able to experience humour—be amused, smile or laugh at something funny—and thus are considered to have a sense of humour. The hypothetical person lacking a sense of humour would likely find the behaviour inducing it to be inexplicable, strange, or even irrational. Though ultimately decided by personal taste, the extent to which a person finds something humorous depends on a host of variables, including geographical location, culture, maturity, level of education, intelligence and context. For example, young children may favour slapstick such as Punch and Judy puppet shows or the Tom and Jerry cartoons, whose physical nature makes it accessible to them. By contrast, more sophisticated forms of humour such as satire require an understanding of its social meaning and context, and thus tend to appeal to a more mature audience.

  • Wit (noun)


    “He’s gone completely out of his wits.”

  • Wit (noun)

    The senses.

  • Wit (noun)

    Intellectual ability; faculty of thinking, reasoning.

    “Where she has gone to is beyond the wit of man to say.”

  • Wit (noun)

    The ability to think quickly; mental cleverness, especially under short time constraints.

    “My father had a quick wit and a steady hand.”

  • Wit (noun)

    Intelligence; common sense.

    “The opportunity was right in front of you, and you didn’t even have the wit to take it!”

  • Wit (noun)

    Humour, especially when clever or quick.

    “The best man’s speech was hilarious, full of wit and charm.”

  • Wit (noun)

    A person who tells funny anecdotes or jokes; someone witty.

    “Your friend is quite a wit, isn’t he?”

  • Wit (verb)

    Know, be aware of constructed with of when used intransitively.

    “You committed terrible actions — to wit, murder and theft — and should be punished accordingly.”

    “They are meddling in matters that men should not wit of.”

  • Wit (preposition)

    alternative spelling of with

  • Humour (noun)

    The quality of being amusing, comical, funny. from the early 18th c.

    “She has a great sense of humour, and I always laugh a lot whenever we get together.”

    “The sensitive subject was treated with humour, but in such way that no one was offended.”

  • Humour (noun)

    A mood, especially a bad mood; a temporary state of mind or disposition brought upon by an event; an abrupt illogical inclination or whim.

    “He was in a particularly vile humour that afternoon.”

  • Humour (noun)

    Any of the fluids in an animal body, especially the four “cardinal humours” of blood, yellow bile, black bile and phlegm that were believed to control the health and mood of the human body.

  • Humour (noun)

    Either of the two regions of liquid within the eyeball, the aqueous humour and vitreous humour.

  • Humour (noun)

    Moist vapour, moisture.

  • Humour (verb)

    To indulging.

    “I know you don’t believe my story, but humour me for a minute and imagine it to be true.”

  • Wit (noun)

    the capacity for inventive thought and quick understanding; keen intelligence

    “she does not lack perception or native wit”

    “he needed all his wits to figure out the way back”

  • Wit (noun)

    good sense

    “I had the wit to realize that the only way out was up”

  • Wit (noun)

    a natural aptitude for using words and ideas in a quick and inventive way to create humour

    “his caustic wit cuts through the humbug”

  • Wit (noun)

    a witty person

    “she is such a wit”

  • Wit (verb)

    have knowledge

    “I addressed a few words to the lady you wot of”

  • Wit (verb)

    that is to say (used to be more specific about something already referred to)

    “the textbooks show an irritating parochialism, to wit an almost total exclusion of papers not in English”

  • Humour (noun)

    the quality of being amusing or comic, especially as expressed in literature or speech

    “his tales are full of humour”

  • Humour (noun)

    the ability to express humour or amuse other people

    “their inimitable brand of humour”

  • Humour (noun)

    a mood or state of mind

    “her good humour vanished”

    “the clash hadn’t improved his humour”

  • Humour (noun)

    an inclination or whim

    “and have you really burnt all your Plays to please a Humour?”

  • Humour (noun)

    each of the four chief fluids of the body (blood, phlegm, yellow bile (choler), and black bile (melancholy)) that were thought to determine a person’s physical and mental qualities by the relative proportions in which they were present.

  • Humour (verb)

    comply with the wishes of (someone) in order to keep them content, however unreasonable such wishes might be

    “she was always humouring him to prevent trouble”

  • Humour (verb)

    adapt or accommodate oneself to (something)

    “in reading this stanza we ought to humour it with a corresponding tone of voice”

Oxford Dictionary

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