AskDefine | Define riposte

Dictionary Definition

riposte n : a quick reply to a question or remark (especially a witty or critical one); "it brought a sharp rejoinder from the teacher" [syn: rejoinder, retort, return, replication, comeback, counter] v : answer back [syn: retort, come back, repay, return, rejoin]

User Contributed Dictionary


Alternative spellings


From French riposte, taken from Italian riposta, a derivative of the verb rispondere, "to respond".


  1. In the context of "fencing": a thrust given in return after parrying an attack.
  2. a quick and usually witty response to a taunt
  3. an answer or reply, rapidly uttered, in response to a question or problem


  • Finnish: vastapisto, riposti
a quick and usually witty response to a taunt
  • Finnish: heitto
  • Hungarian: visszavágás
an answer or reply, rapidly uttered
  • Finnish: heitto
  • Hungarian: visszavágás


From Italian riposta, a derivative of rispondere, "to respond".



fr-noun f
  1. a riposte (in the senses of fencing, a witty response, and a quick reply)

Verb form

  1. inflected form of riposter




Extensive Definition

In fencing, the riposte (French for retort) is an offensive action with the intent of hitting one's opponent, made by the fencer who has just parried an attack.


In sabre and foil, the priority switches when the parry is successfully executed; the defending fencer now has right of way and may immediately attack with a riposte. The riposte may be direct, or may include compound footwork. If the riposte is delayed, the original attacker's remise gains priority.
When one sets up a second intention attack, the reactions of one's opponent must be predicted. A fencer may execute an attack expecting to be parried, preparing to counter-parry and counter-riposte.
In everyday language, a riposte describes a quick and witty reply to an argument or an insult. It is synonymous with a retort.

See also

riposte in German: Riposte
riposte in French: Riposte (sport de combat)
riposte in Slovak: Odveta

Synonyms, Antonyms and Related Words

acknowledge, acknowledgment, advocate, allege in support, answer, answer back, answering, antiphon, aphorism, apothegm, argue for, argument, assert, back answer, back talk, backchat, bon mot, boutade, bright idea, bright thought, brilliant idea, champion, come back, come back at, comeback, conceit, contend for, counter, counterstatement, crack, defend, defense, demurrer, denial, echo, epigram, espouse, evasive reply, exception, facetiae, flash back, flash of wit, flight of wit, gibe, give acknowledgment, give answer, happy thought, maintain, make a plea, mot, nasty crack, objection, persiflage, play of wit, plea, plead for, pleading, pleasantry, quip, quips and cranks, react, reaction, ready reply, rebut, rebuttal, receipt, reecho, refutation, refute, rejoin, rejoinder, repartee, replication, reply, repost, rescript, rescription, respond, respondence, response, responsion, responsory, retort, return, return answer, return for answer, reverberate, reverberation, sally, say, say in defense, say in reply, scintillation, shoot back, short answer, smart crack, smart saying, snap back, snappy comeback, speak for, speak up for, special demurrer, special pleading, stand up for, statement of defense, stick up for, stroke of wit, support, sustain, take the bait, talk back, turn of thought, uphold, urge reasons for, wisecrack, witticism, witty reply, witty retort, yes-and-no answer
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