A rejoinder usually means a witty comeback. If someone asks you a silly question like, "Are you painting?" when you are holding a paint can and a brush, your rejoinder could be, "No, I'm just doing my nails."

The word rejoinder comes from the Middle French word rejoindre, which meant to answer a legal charge. The meaning of a witty retort developed from the legal meaning. You often think of the best rejoinders long after the crucial moments have passed, which can be really frustrating.

Definitions of rejoinder

n a quick reply to a question or remark (especially a witty or critical one)

“it brought a sharp rejoinder from the teacher”
comeback, counter, replication, retort, return, riposte
back talk, backtalk, lip, mouth, sass, sassing
an impudent or insolent rejoinder
Type of:
reply, response
the speech act of continuing a conversational exchange

n (law) a pleading made by a defendant in response to the plaintiff's replication

Type of:
(law) a statement in legal and logical form stating something on behalf of a party to a legal proceeding

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