AskDefine | Define witty

The Collaborative Dictionary

Witty \Wit"ty\, a. [Compar. Wittier; superl. Wittiest.] [AS. witig, wittig. See Wit, n.] [1913 Webster]
Possessed of wit; knowing; wise; skillful; judicious; clever; cunning. [Obs.] "The deep-revolving witty Buckingham." --Shak. [1913 Webster]
Especially, possessing wit or humor; good at repartee; droll; facetious; sometimes, sarcastic; as, a witty remark, poem, and the like. "Honeycomb, who was so unmercifully witty upon the women." --Addison. [1913 Webster] Syn: Acute; smart; sharp; arch; keen; facetious; amusing; humorous; satirical; ironical; taunting. [1913 Webster] Witwal

Word Net

witty adj : combining clever conception and facetious expression; "his sermons were unpredictably witty and satirical as well as eloquent" [also: wittiest, wittier]



Old English; wittig "clever, wise" from wit



  1. Possessing a strong intellect or intellectual capacity.
    Merlin was perhaps more witty than magical.
  2. Clever; amusingly ingenious.
    His speech was both witty and informative.
  3. Full of wit.
    His frequent quips mark him as particularly witty.
  4. quick of mind; insightful; in possession of wits
    She may have grown older, but she has grown no less witty.


possessing a strong intellect or intellectual capacity
clever; amusingly ingenious
full of wit
quick of mind; insightful; in possession of wits
The Witty worm is a computer worm that attacks the firewall and other computer security products written by a particular company, Internet Security Systems (ISS). It was the first worm to take advantage of vulnerabilities in the very pieces of software designed to enhance network security, and carried a destructive payload, unlike previous worms. It is so named because the phrase "(^.^) insert witty message here (^.^)" appears in the worm's payload.
The Witty worm incident was unique in that the worm spread very rapidly after announcement of the ISS vulnerability (a day later), and infected a much smaller and presumably harder-to-infect (because the administrators had taken security measures) host population than previous worms.


On 19 March 2004, the 'Witty' worm began infecting hosts connected to the Internet (and running the vulnerable ISS software) from a "seed" population, probably of previously compromised computers. Within a half-hour it infected 12,000 computers and was generating 90 Gb/s (gigabits per second) of UDP traffic.

Effect of worm

Once Witty infects a computer by exploiting a vulnerability in the ISS software packages (RealSecure Network, RealSecure Server Sensor, RealSecure Desktop, and BlackICE), it attempts to infect other computers using the same vulnerability.
Witty launches these attacks as fast as possible, attacking a pseudo-random subset of IP addresses as quickly as allowed by the computer's Internet connection. It repeats these attacks in groups of 20,000, alternately launching attacks and overwriting sections of the computer's hard disk(s).


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