emotional intelligence


: the ability to recognize, understand, and deal skillfully with one's own emotions and the emotions of others (as by regulating one's emotions or by showing empathy and good judgment in social interactions)
A large part of emotional intelligence is being able to think about and empathize with how other people are feeling. This often involves considering how you would respond if you were in the same situation.Kendra Cherry
We know that young children learn to identify, explain, and regulate their emotions, but we know much less about how children learn these things. They undoubtedly acquire some of their emotional intelligence from adults–—parents, teachers, and coaches, for example.Lawrence T. White
… thousands of workers during the "Great Resignation" discovered a new road map to success: being able to recognize and walk away from abusive situations. … Empathy, respectfulness and emotional intelligence are hallmarks of leaders for whom people enjoy working.Karla L. Miller
abbreviation EI

called also emotional quotient

Examples of emotional intelligence in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Bolger is trying to be less intense than his mother, to emphasize the development of his daughter’s emotional intelligence. Joseph Bernstein Robert Petkoff Krish Seenivasan Devin Murphy, New York Times, 3 June 2024 From birth, everyone needs to develop emotional intelligence as their self-awareness and social skills are forming. Chicago Tribune, 1 June 2024 This development unlocks a new era of interaction driven by emotional intelligence. Ellie Gabel, Discover Magazine, 27 May 2024 This shift underscores the growing significance of emotional intelligence, focusing on the wellness and morale of teams to cultivate a culture of empowerment and responsibility. Stephen Nalley, Rolling Stone, 2 May 2024 Not every student has access to these beneficial programs, but one initiative is aiming to ensure that young Black adults are equipped for all aspects of the workplace, especially the important emotional intelligence aspect. Jasmine Browley, Essence, 9 Apr. 2024 As a result, more than emotional intelligence, empathy enables leaders to discriminate among emotions and utilize the information to influence decision-making, focusing on what to do and how to do it. Dr. Shaheena Janjuha-Jivraj, Forbes, 29 Mar. 2024 Their adaptability, mentorship skills, and refined leadership, often complemented by strong work ethics, emotional intelligence, and crisis management abilities, are pivotal contributors to organizational wisdom and success—these soft skills anchor team dynamics. Ebony Flake, Essence, 2 Apr. 2024 On the third floor of an old building, Book Punch is an independent store whose selection includes literary fiction, poetry and children’s books on emotional intelligence; staff members thank their customers by giving them vegetables or snacks. Tiffany May, San Diego Union-Tribune, 31 Mar. 2024

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'emotional intelligence.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

1978, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of emotional intelligence was in 1978

Dictionary Entries Near emotional intelligence

Cite this Entry

“Emotional intelligence.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/emotional%20intelligence. Accessed 21 Jun. 2024.

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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