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adjective in·tel·li·gent \in-ˈte-lə-jənt\

Simple Definition of intelligent

  • : having or showing the ability to easily learn or understand things or to deal with new or difficult situations : having or showing a lot of intelligence

  • : able to learn and understand things

  • : having an ability to deal with problems or situations that resembles or suggests the ability of an intelligent person

Source: Merriam-Webster's Learner's Dictionary

Full Definition of intelligent

  1. 1 a :  having or indicating a high or satisfactory degree of intelligence and mental capacity b :  revealing or reflecting good judgment or sound thought :  skillful

  2. 2 a :  possessing intelligence b :  guided or directed by intellect :  rational

  3. 3 a :  guided or controlled by a computer; especially :  using a built-in microprocessor for automatic operation, for processing of data, or for achieving greater versatility — compare dumb 7 b :  able to produce printed material from digital signals <an intelligent copier>

intelligential play \-ˌte-lə-ˈjen(t)-shəl\ adjective
intelligently play \-ˈte-lə-jənt-lē\ adverb

Examples of intelligent in a sentence

  1. She asked some intelligent questions.

  2. He's a hard worker but he's not very intelligent.

Origin of intelligent

Latin intelligent-, intelligens, present participle of intelligere, intellegere to understand, from inter- + legere to gather, select — more at legend

First Known Use: 1509

Synonym Discussion of intelligent

intelligent, clever, alert, quick-witted mean mentally keen or quick. intelligent stresses success in coping with new situations and solving problems <an intelligent person could assemble it fast>. clever implies native ability or aptness and sometimes suggests a lack of more substantial qualities <clever with words>. alert stresses quickness in perceiving and understanding <alert to new technology>. quick-witted implies promptness in finding answers in debate or in devising expedients in moments of danger or challenge <no match for his quick-witted opponent>.

INTELLIGENT Defined for Kids


adjective in·tel·li·gent \in-ˈte-lə-jənt\

Definition of intelligent for Students

  1. 1 :  having or showing serious thought and good judgment <an intelligent student> <an intelligent decision>

  2. 2 :  able to learn and understand <Is there intelligent life on other planets?>

intelligently adverb

Law Dictionary


adjective in·tel·li·gent

Legal Definition of intelligent

  1. :  having or indicating a high or satisfactory degree of intelligence and mental capacity; especially :  having or indicating an understanding of the nature and consequences of an act or decision <a knowing and intelligent waiver of counsel> — compare knowing

intelligently adverb

Additional Notes on intelligent

Under Miranda v. Arizona, 384 U.S. 436 (1966), a waiver of rights must be knowing and intelligent.

Seen and Heard

What made you want to look up intelligent? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


tending to dismiss important matters

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