wiseacre
noun Etymology: Middle Dutch wijssegger soothsayer, modification of Old High German wīzzago; akin to Old English wītega soothsayer, witan to know Date: 1595 one who pretends to knowledge or cleverness; especially smart aleck

New Collegiate Dictionary. 2001.

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  • Wiseacre — Wise a*cre, n. [OD. wijssegger or G. weissager a foreteller, prophet, from weissagen to foretell, to prophesy, OHG. w[=i]ssag?n, corrupted (as if compounded of the words for wise and say) fr. w[=i]zzag?n, fr. w[=i]zzag? a prophet, akin to AS.… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • wiseacre — 1590s, partial translation of M.Du. wijssegger soothsayer (with no derogatory connotation), probably altered by association with M.Du. segger sayer from O.H.G. wizzago prophet, from wizzan to know, from P.Gmc. *wit know. The depreciatory sense of …   Etymology dictionary

  • wiseacre — ► NOUN ▪ a person with an affectation of wisdom or knowledge. ORIGIN Dutch wijsseggher soothsayer …   English terms dictionary

  • wiseacre — [wīz′ā΄kər] n. [altered by folk etym. < MDu wijssegger, altered (infl. by wijs, WISE1 + zeggen, to say) < OHG wissago, altered (infl. by wis, WISE1 + sago, speaker < sagen, to SAY) < wizzago, prophet < Gmc * witag , knowing: for IE …   English World dictionary

  • wiseacre —    This is an older form of ‘wise guy’. It was used from the end of the sixteenth century until the nineteenth century to refer to a wise person, or one who wished to be thought wise, at least. The word is said to have been a corruption of Dutch… …   A dictionary of epithets and terms of address

  • wiseacre — [16] Wiseacre has no etymological connection with acres. The word’s ancestral meaning is ‘person who sees or knows things, prophet’. It was borrowed from Middle Dutch wijsseggher, which denoted ‘soothsayer’ (with no derogatory connotations). And… …   The Hutchinson dictionary of word origins

  • wiseacre — [16] Wiseacre has no etymological connection with acres. The word’s ancestral meaning is ‘person who sees or knows things, prophet’. It was borrowed from Middle Dutch wijsseggher, which denoted ‘soothsayer’ (with no derogatory connotations). And… …   Word origins

  • wiseacre — /wuyz ay keuhr/, n. 1. a person who possesses or affects to possess great wisdom. 2. See wise guy. [1585 95; < MD wijssager prophet, trans. of MHG wissage, late OHG wissago, by popular etym. equiv. to wis wise + sago sayer, from earlier wizzago… …   Universalium

  • wiseacre — noun One who feigns knowledge or cleverness; an insolent upstart. Syn: smart aleck, smarty, smartie, smarty pants, smart ass, wise guy, wisenheimer, weisenheimer …   Wiktionary

  • wiseacre — I (Roget s 3 Superthesaurus) n. *wise guy, *wiseass, *smart ass, *smartaleck, know it all, *wisenheimer. II (Roget s Thesaurus II) noun Slang. One who is obnoxiously self assertive and arrogant: malapert, witling. Informal: know it all, saucebox …   English dictionary for students

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