Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. Slang A person regarded as being disagreeably egotistical and self-assured.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. One who feigns knowledge or cleverness; an insolent upstart.
  • n. A learned or wise man.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. A learned or wise man.
  • n. One who makes undue pretensions to wisdom; a would-be-wise person; hence, in contempt, a simpleton; a dunce.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. A sayer of wise things; a learned or wise man.
  • n. One who makes pretensions to great wisdom; hence, in contempt or irony, a would-be wise person; a serious simpleton or dunce.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. an upstart who makes conceited, sardonic, insolent comments

Etymologies

Alteration by folk etymology from Middle Dutch wijsseggher, soothsayer, translation of Middle High German wīssage, from Old High German wīssago, seer, alteration (influenced by forasago, sayer beforehand, prophet) of wīzago, from wīzag, knowledgeable.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
a 1600, from Middle Dutch wijssegger ("soothsayer"), from Old High German wīzzago, from wizzan ("to know") (Wiktionary)

Examples

Comments

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  • "wise-acre" in HU = "seggfej" (arse-head)

    September 14, 2012

  • Alteration by folk etymology from Middle Dutch wijsseggher, soothsayer.

    January 10, 2009

  • A person with an affectation of wisdom.

    September 9, 2008

  • Came across this word in an English translation of Comenius's Labyrinth of the World and Paradise of the Heart, an allegory. The protagonist is constantly being told not to be a wiseacre by the people who lead him around, showing him the attractions of the world, when he questions their lasting value.

    August 15, 2008

  • Yarb, you say that like it's a bad thing. ;-)

    October 17, 2007

  • Yea, the ea is beautiful!

    October 17, 2007

  • I love wiseacre for the same reason as I love roseate. It's that weird "ea" thing going on in the middle there.

    October 17, 2007

  • Wise-aker, shurely?

    Sometimes Wordie turns my whole world upside down.

    October 16, 2007

  • Wiseakker.

    July 6, 2007

  • Mmm, I could sure go for some cheese and cracres right about now.

    July 6, 2007

  • Ooh...but "wise-akker" (rhyming with "cracker") sounds pretty good too.

    July 6, 2007

  • dictionary.com says WAHYZ-ey-ker

    July 6, 2007

  • How the hell is this word pronounced, anyway? Does it rhyme with baker or cracker?

    July 6, 2007