[n] mental ability; "he's got plenty of brains but no common sense"
[n] a message whose ingenuity or verbal skill or incongruity has the power to evoke laughter
[n] (informal) a witty amusing person who makes jokes
During the Renaissance wit was synonymous with intelligence and wisdom. During the 17th century it became more closely associated with fancy. One of the main themes of Pope's An Essay on Criticism is wit and he concludes that:
brain, brainpower, card, humor, humour, learning ability, mental capacity, mentality, wag, witticism, wittiness
bon mot, caricature, cartoon, caustic remark, content, fun, gag, humorist, humourist, imitation, impersonation, intelligence, irony, jape, jest, jeu d'esprit, joke, laugh, message, mot, play, repartee, ribaldry, sarcasm, satire, sketch, sport, subject matter, substance, topper, wheeze, yak