Definition of riposte in English:

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Pronunciation: /rɪˈpɒst/


1A quick, clever reply to an insult or criticism.
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, retaliation, answer, reply, response
informal comeback
2A quick return thrust in fencing.
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.


1 [with direct speech] Make a quick, clever reply to an insult or criticism: ‘You’ve got a strange sense of honour,’ Grant 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, fling back, snap back, answer, reply, respond, say in response;
round on someone, come back
2 [no object] Make a quick return thrust in fencing.
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'.

Words that rhyme with riposte

accost, cost, frost, lost, Prost

For editors and proofreaders

Line breaks: ri|poste

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