retort Definition

  • 1say something in answer to a remark, typically in a sharp, angry, or witty manner
  • 2a sharp, angry, or witty reply

Using retort: Examples

Take a moment to familiarize yourself with how "retort" can be used in various situations through the following examples!

  • Example

    'I don't know what you're talking about,' she retorted.

  • Example

    He was quick with a retort to her criticism.

  • Example

    Her retort was both clever and cutting.

  • Example

    He made a rude retort to the question.

retort Synonyms and Antonyms

Antonyms for retort

Idioms Using retort

  • to be quick and witty in responding to comments or questions


    He always has a ready retort for any criticism.

  • an argument in which people exchange strong and angry statements


    Their conversation quickly turned into a war of words, with each person trying to outdo the other's retorts.

  • to respond to criticism or insults with equally strong and effective counterarguments


    She may be small, but she can give as good as she gets in an argument.

Phrases with retort

  • a reply to something that has been said


    She had a sharp retort to his comment.

  • retort (something) back at someone

    to say something sharp or angry in response to someone else's comment


    She retorted his insult back at him.

  • retort (something) with (something)

    to reply to a statement with a sharp or witty comment


    She retorted with a sarcastic remark.

Origins of retort

from Latin 're-' meaning 'back' + 'tortus' meaning 'twisted'


Summary: retort in Brief

The verb and noun 'retort' [rɪˈtɔːt] refer to a sharp, angry, or witty reply to a remark. It can be used in various contexts, from responding to criticism to exchanging insults. Examples include 'Her retort was both clever and cutting.' and 'He made a rude retort to the question.' 'Retort' extends into phrases like 'retort to,' and idioms like 'have a ready retort,' denoting quick wit, and 'give as good as one gets,' implying equal counterarguments.