repartee

Late night talk show hosts are known for being experts at repartee, or clever conversation, with their celebrity guests.

Repartee comes from the French word repartire, which is a fencing term meaning "an answering thrust with a sword." When you are engaging in repartee, you don't literally stab someone, but you come back with a quick verbal blow. Most of us aren't as quick as we'd like to be. Mark Twain defined repartee as, "something we think of 24 hours too late."

Definitions of repartee
  1. noun
    adroitness and cleverness in reply
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    types:
    backchat, banter, give-and-take, raillery
    light teasing repartee
    badinage
    frivolous banter
    persiflage
    light teasing
    type of:
    humor, humour, wit, witticism, wittiness
    a message whose ingenuity or verbal skill or incongruity has the power to evoke laughter
Word Family