in·tel·lect | \ˈin-tə-ˌlekt \

Definition of intellect 

1a : the power of knowing as distinguished from the power to feel and to will : the capacity for knowledge

b : the capacity for rational or intelligent thought especially when highly developed

2 : a person with great intellectual powers

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Examples of intellect in a Sentence

She is a woman of superior intellect. She has a sharp intellect. We were required to read a book every week in order to develop our intellects. music that appeals to the intellect while still satisfying the emotions
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Recent Examples on the Web

But there is little question that his conservative jurisprudence would have a major impact, given Kavanaugh’s intellect, work ethic and reputation for clarity in his opinions. Brian Bennett, Time, "How Brett Kavanaugh Could Change the Supreme Court—and America," 12 July 2018 But a friend reminded her that the loss of her sight didn’t diminish her intellect. Emily Williams,, "After losing her sight, legislator works to open center for the blind in Uganda," 26 June 2018 Krauthammer frequently graced television screens across America on Fox News with his adept analysis in politics, many times leaving others on battering panels without any way to top his graceful intellect. Christal Hayes, USA TODAY, "Charles Krauthammer, influential conservative commentator, dies at 68 after battle with cancer," 21 June 2018 Jay nurtured his family to flourish in this world-to express their creativity and their intellect without apprehension. Hartford Courant,, "James R. Giordano," 10 June 2018 Teen shows might be pushing the envelope more and more, but very few of them are giving viewers pregnant Black teens with boundless ambition, intellect, and drive, who go on to be recognized as the most successful person in their entire grade., "Let's Put Some Respect On Liberty Van Zandt's Name, Degrassi Fans," 15 June 2018 Much as a person possessing a brilliant intellect could become an accomplished detective or a criminal mastermind, one with a superior emotional quotient has a choice between two very different paths: using their influence to help or to harm. Justin Bariso, Time, "There’s a Dark Side to Emotional Intelligence. Here’s How to Protect Yourself," 5 June 2018 Parris will star as Ayana Lake, a rising star in the NYPD whose keen intellect and quick, analytic mind are the keys to her success. Lesley Goldberg, The Hollywood Reporter, "'Survivor's Remorse' Grad to Star in CBS Drama 'Murder'," 5 Feb. 2018 Even as more women occupy seats in Congress and become business leaders throughout Latin America, a culture where looks are prized above intellect remains prevalent. Washington Post, "In embattled Venezuela, beauty offers ladder out of poverty," 6 July 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'intellect.' 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 intellect

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

History and Etymology for intellect

Middle English, from Middle French or Latin; Middle French, from Latin intellectus, from intellegere to understand — more at intelligent

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Statistics for intellect

Last Updated

20 Sep 2018

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Time Traveler for intellect

The first known use of intellect was in the 14th century

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More Definitions for intellect



English Language Learners Definition of intellect

: the ability to think in a logical way

: a very smart person : a person whose intellect is well developed


in·tel·lect | \ˈin-tə-ˌlekt \

Kids Definition of intellect

1 : the ability to think and understand She has a superior intellect.

2 : a person with great powers of thinking and reasoning


in·tel·lect | \ˈint-ᵊl-ˌekt \

Medical Definition of intellect 

1 : the power of knowing as distinguished from the power to feel and to will : the capacity for knowledge

2 : the capacity for rational or intelligent thought

Other Words from intellect

intellectual \ˌint-ᵊl-ˈek-ch(ə-w)əl, -ˈeksh-wəl \ adjective
intellectually adverb

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Comments on intellect

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