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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

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>

in·tel·li·gen·tial play \-ˌte-lə-ˈjen(t)-shəl\ adjective
in·tel·li·gent·ly play \-ˈte-lə-jənt-lē\ adverb

Examples of intelligent

  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>.

Seen and Heard

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February 13, 2016

a trying or distressing experience

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