wise

adjective
\ ˈwīz How to pronounce wise (audio) \
wiser; wisest

Definition of wise

 (Entry 1 of 7)

1a : characterized by wisdom : marked by deep understanding, keen discernment, and a capacity for sound judgment
b : exercising or showing sound judgment : prudent a wise investor
2a : evidencing or hinting at the possession of inside information : knowing
b : possessing inside information the police got wise to his whereabouts
c : crafty, shrewd
d : aware of or informed about a particular matter usually used in the comparative in negative constructions with the was none the wiser about their plans
3 : insolent, smart-alecky, fresh a tough kid with a wise mouth
4 archaic : skilled in magic or divination

wise

verb (1)
wised; wising

Definition of wise (Entry 2 of 7)

intransitive verb

: to become informed or knowledgeable : learn used with up

transitive verb

: to give instruction or information to : teach usually used with up wise him up about procedures

wise

noun

Definition of wise (Entry 3 of 7)

: manner, way in any wise Old age seemed in no wise to have dulled him, but to have sharpened …— Herman Melville

wise

verb (2)
wised; wising

Definition of wise (Entry 4 of 7)

transitive verb

1 chiefly Scotland
a : direct, guide
2 chiefly Scotland : to divert or impel in a given direction : send

-wise

adverb combining form

Definition of -wise (Entry 5 of 7)

1a : in the manner of crabwise fanwise
b : in the position or direction of slantwise clockwise
2 : with regard to : in respect of dollarwise

Wise

biographical name (1)
\ ˈwīz How to pronounce Wise (audio) \

Definition of Wise (Entry 6 of 7)

Stephen Samuel 1874–1949 American (Hungarian-born) rabbi

Wise

biographical name (2)

Definition of Wise (Entry 7 of 7)

Thomas James 1859–1937 English bibliophile and forger

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Other Words from wise

Adjective

wisely adverb
wiseness noun

Synonyms & Antonyms for wise

Synonyms: Adjective

Antonyms: Adjective

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Choose the Right Synonym for wise

Adjective

wise, sage, sapient, judicious, prudent, sensible, sane mean having or showing sound judgment. wise suggests great understanding of people and of situations and unusual discernment and judgment in dealing with them. wise beyond his tender years sage suggests wide experience, great learning, and wisdom. the sage advice of my father sapient suggests great sagacity and discernment. the sapient musings of an old philosopher judicious stresses a capacity for reaching wise decisions or just conclusions. judicious parents using kindness and discipline in equal measure prudent suggests the exercise of restraint guided by sound practical wisdom and discretion. a prudent decision to wait out the storm sensible applies to action guided and restrained by good sense and rationality. a sensible woman who was not fooled by flattery sane stresses mental soundness, rationality, and levelheadedness. remained sane even in times of crises

Examples of wise in a Sentence

Adjective I'm a little wiser now than I was back then. The wisest course of action would be to leave. That was a wise choice. Many have benefited from her wise counsel.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective That goes to the heart of the simple-minded but wise perception that America should be a beacon. Angela Dawson, Forbes, "Kevin Macdonald Explores Unfair Detainee Treatment In ‘The Mauritanian’," 1 Mar. 2021 But there may be something productive that comes from people being low-key and focused, if nothing more the example of disciplined and wise stewardship. Amanda Walker, al, "Can we replace Congress with horses?," 20 Feb. 2021 The tax cuts may not have been wise or affordable, but there is a difference between cutting federal tax revenues by three percent versus increasing federal spending by 60 or even 100 percent. Andrew Stuttaford, National Review, "Boom, then Bust?," 20 Feb. 2021 Janice Hahn, who is now a member of the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors, remembers the young Padilla on the City Council as someone who was poised and wise beyond his years. Phil Willon, Los Angeles Times, "Alex Padilla to become California’s first Latino U.S. senator, replacing Kamala Harris," 22 Dec. 2020 All eight episodes fly by with a killer score, top-notch production values, and spot-on performances from all involved, especially the scene-stealing Jodi Long as an eccentric and wise great-aunt. Rochelle O'gorman, The Christian Science Monitor, "Holiday TV shows bring the comfy and cozy – and better reflect society," 4 Dec. 2020 To the right, a line of older residents, looking a little worn out and a little wise, fill the chairs. Adam Gopnik, The New Yorker, "What Makes the Difference Between Getting Out of Prison and Staying Out?," 9 Nov. 2020 Zemo’s wife and children were among the civilians killed in a country called Sokovia during the Avengers’ fight with a genocidal AI named Ultron in Avengers: Age of Ultron, one of the worst MCU movies but one of the most important plot-wise. Eliana Dockterman, Time, "Everything You Need to Know About The Falcon and the Winter Soldier," 19 Mar. 2021 Fashion has been taking a serious look at itself in the past few years, sustainably and diverse-wise. Allyson Portee, Forbes, "Born As A Refugee Anok Yai Is One Of Fashion’s Most Sought After Models Who’s Breaking Barriers," 18 Mar. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb To help, 15 members of Forbes Technology Council share their best strategic approaches to wise IT budgeting. Expert Panel®, Forbes, "15 Strategic Ways IT Leaders Can Meet Company Objectives On A Limited Budget," 11 Mar. 2021 But a cleaner, more resilient grid could ultimately lower energy costs for everyone, many economists believe—if companies wise up about climate change and invest accordingly. Tim Mcdonnell, Quartz, "Who should pay to fix the electric grid?," 26 Feb. 2021 Some of that might not happen if a lot of people just wise up. Michael Smolens Columnist, San Diego Union-Tribune, "Column: COVID fatigue collides with the holidays," 15 Nov. 2020 After Vietnam, Democratic presidents began to wise up. Kevin Baker, Harper's Magazine, "The Striking Gesture," 27 Apr. 2020 The right’s populists might wise up to this eventually. Osita Nwanevu, The New Republic, "Bernie Sanders Has Finally Got Republicans’ Attention," 15 Jan. 2020 Size wise the shrimp were on the shrimpy side for sure, but still an effective dish, particularly as a sharable or appetizer. Matt Wake | Mwake@al.com, al, "Huntsville’s popular taco-bus goes indoors," 1 Oct. 2019 But that's all changing, as more people wise up to the fact that Jordan actually has it all: religious and historical attractions, otherworldly landscapes, and cosmopolitan sophistication. Andrew Solomon, Condé Nast Traveler, "Traveling Through Jordan’s Historic Ruins, Red Dunes, and Dead Sea," 24 July 2019 Turner wants Elwood to wise up and look out for himself. Sam Sacks, WSJ, "Fiction: Colson Whitehead Is One of the Finest Novelists in America," 12 July 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'wise.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of wise

Adjective

before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

Verb (1)

1905, in the meaning defined at transitive sense

Noun

before the 12th century, in the meaning defined above

Verb (2)

before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

History and Etymology for wise

Adjective

Middle English wis, from Old English wīs; akin to Old High German wīs wise, Old English witan to know — more at wit

Noun

Middle English, from Old English wīse; akin to Old High German wīsa manner, Greek eidos form, idein to see — more at wit

Verb (2)

Middle English, from Old English wīsian; akin to Old Norse vīsa to show the way, Old English wīs wise

Adverb combining form

Middle English, from Old English -wīsan, from wīse manner

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Time Traveler for wise

Time Traveler

The first known use of wise was before the 12th century

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Statistics for wise

Last Updated

3 Apr 2021

Cite this Entry

“Wise.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/wise. Accessed 12 Apr. 2021.

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More Definitions for wise

wise

adjective

English Language Learners Definition of wise

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: having or showing wisdom or knowledge usually from learning or experiencing many things
: based on good reasoning or information : showing good sense or judgment
US, informal : saying things that are rude or insulting

English Language Learners Definition of -wise (Entry 2 of 2)

: in the position or direction of
: in the manner of
informal : with regard to

wise

adjective
\ ˈwīz How to pronounce wise (audio) \
wiser; wisest

Kids Definition of wise

 (Entry 1 of 3)

1 : having or showing good sense or good judgment : sensible a wise woman a wise decision
2 : having knowledge or information I was wise to their trick.
3 : rude or insulting in speech

Other Words from wise

wisely adverb

wise

noun

Kids Definition of wise (Entry 2 of 3)

: manner sense 2, way
Hint: This meaning of wise is used in such phrases as in any wise, in no wise, or in this wise.

-wise

adverb suffix
\ ˌwīz \

Kids Definition of -wise

1 : in the manner of
2 : in the position or direction of clockwise
3 : with regard to The movie is successful profit-wise.

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More from Merriam-Webster on wise

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for wise

Nglish: Translation of wise for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of wise for Arabic Speakers

Comments on wise

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