in·​tel·​lect | \ ˈin-tə-ˌlekt How to pronounce intellect (audio) \

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 The company seeks out Rhodes scholars like him, banking that their intellects will make up for their lack of M.B.A.s from traditional recruiting grounds like Harvard Business School. Michael Forsythe, New York Times, "When Pete Buttigieg Was One of McKinsey’s ‘Whiz Kids’," 5 Dec. 2019 My intellect is very high in the ring and no one gives me credit,’’ Wilder said., "Deontay Wilder stops Ortiz in heavyweight title rematch - The Boston Globe," 24 Nov. 2019 Some courtiers admired the Empress's new favorite for his intellect and charm, while others were resentful of his poor manners and tendency towards debauchery. Chloe Foussianes, Town & Country, "Grigory Potemkin and Catherine the Great Have One of History's Greatest Love Stories," 22 Oct. 2019 His fierce intellect and infectious humor knew no bounds. Phil Davis,, "Celebrity chef Carl Ruiz dies at 44 shortly after trip to Baltimore area, Havre de Grace," 23 Sep. 2019 His fierce intellect and infectious humor knew no bounds. Maria Pasquini,, "Guy Fieri 'Heartbroken' Over Food Network Star Carl Ruiz's Death: 'I Have No Words'," 22 Sep. 2019 When Mr Jaitley died on August 24th after a long period of ill-health, the great and good from across India’s fierce political divides joined in praising his intellect and civility. The Economist, "India’s government is scrambling to revive the economy," 31 Aug. 2019 Neoplatonism acknowledged the supremacy of spirit over matter and viewed intellect and love as leading the soul toward God. Allesandra Pagano, National Geographic, "The painter behind 'Birth of Venus' invented a new kind of art," 24 July 2019 Former President Bill Clinton praised his intellect and philanthropic efforts and was a frequent flyer aboard his private jet. Jill Colvin, Anchorage Daily News, "What did Epstein’s famous friends know and see?," 9 July 2019

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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Time Traveler for intellect

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for intellect

Last Updated

27 Dec 2019

Cite this Entry

“Intellect.” The Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., Accessed 20 January 2020.

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More Definitions for intellect


How to pronounce intellect (audio)

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 How to pronounce intellect (audio) \

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 How to pronounce intellect (audio) \

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 How to pronounce intellectual (audio) \ adjective
intellectually adverb

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Comments on intellect

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


not to be intimidated or subdued

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