Definition of riposte in English:


Syllabification: ri·poste
Pronunciation: /riˈpōst


  • 1A quick clever reply to an insult or criticism.
    More example sentences
    • The dialogue, too, feels like piecework, as if the bons mots and ripostes have been assembled from a library of index cards.
    • One-liners were bouncing around my head, ripostes to every single barb, especially those from the fat bloke.
    • Could the woman who repackaged star quality for the post-Vietnam age do what any successful talk show host has to: pretend to listen to other people while thinking up witty ripostes?
    retort, counter, rejoinder, sally, return, answer, reply, response
    informal comeback
  • 2 Fencing A quick return thrust following a parry.
    More example sentences
    • Forcing the blade aside, he delivered a crushing riposte, thrusting with his weapon towards his midriff.
    • His every thrust was blocked or parried, and the riposte that followed each left him with another leaking wound.
    • Lex parried his father's attacks without trying too hard and pressed his own ripostes well.


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  • 1 [with direct speech] Make a quick clever reply to an insult or criticism: “I’d have made lamb chops had I known you’re a vegetarian,” Kris riposted
    More example sentences
    • ‘Too soon to tell,’ he laconically riposted.
    • ‘You and a number of people tried to cash in on the thing and when you didn't get your way, you tried to make sure I didn't get it off the ground,’ the witness riposted.
    • To which Reginald riposted: ‘Oh yes you do, if you live in the South Hams, matey.’
    retort, counter, rejoin, return, retaliate, hurl back, answer, reply, respond, come back
  • 2 [no object] Make a quick return thrust in fencing.
    More example sentences
    • Jack yielded the parry, rolling his wrist into second to protect his right leg, and then jumped back again without riposting.
    • They jabbed, parried, charged and riposted with such speed that the blades were indistinguishable blurs of reflected light now that the sun had risen over the horizon.
    • He stepped, lunged, parried, riposted, all the movements flowing into the next, a dance of incredible intricacy.


early 18th century: from French risposte (noun), risposter (verb), from Italian risposta 'response'.

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