wiseacre

Use the noun wiseacre when you need an old-fashioned way to talk about a smarty pants. Your grandfather might refer to your smart mouthed, know-it-all little brother as a wiseacre.

Wiseacre and all of its synonyms carry an informal air about them, perhaps suggesting that we don't want to formalize the idea of a smart aleck. Wiseacre comes from Dutch wijssegger, which means "soothsayer." The wise bit is in fact related to wise. The acre part — well, as one dictionary puts it, "the assimilation to acre remains unexplained."

Definitions of wiseacre
  1. noun
    an upstart who makes conceited, sardonic, insolent comments
    synonyms: smart aleck, weisenheimer, wise guy, wisenheimer
    see moresee less
    type of:
    upstart
    an arrogant or presumptuous person
Word Family
EDITOR’S CHOICE

Test prep from the experts

Boost your test score with programs developed by Vocabulary.com’s experts.

  • Proven methods: Learn faster, remember longer with our scientific approach.
  • Personalized plan: We customize your experience to maximize your learning.
  • Strategic studying: Focus on the words that are most crucial for success.

SAT/PSAT

$29.95
  • Number of words: 500+
  • Duration: 8 weeks or less
  • Time: 1 hour / week

TOEFL

$29.95
  • Number of words: 500+
  • Duration: 10 weeks or less
  • Time: 1 hour / week

ACT

$29.95
  • Number of words: 700+
  • Duration: 10 weeks
  • Time: 1 hour / week