Here is the context:

Rail means "to revile or scold in harsh, insolent, or abusive language," whereas raillery usually suggests cutting wit that pokes fun good-naturedly.

I feel that cutting means acute there, but I am in doubt because neither the Merriam-Webster nor Oxford dictionary give similar definitions.

  • It's really just a metaphorical use. The wit is sharp or piercing or incisive, like a knife. Merriam-Webster's adjective definition #3 is probably the closest one.
    – stangdon
    May 26, 2018 at 15:42

2 Answers 2


Here's a New Yorker cartoon, drawn by Emily Flake, that describes cutting wit:

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Cutting wit is humor with a victim.

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