intellectual

adjective
in·​tel·​lec·​tu·​al | \ ˌin-tə-ˈlek-chə-wəl How to pronounce intellectual (audio) , -chəl, -shwəl, -chü(-ə)l \

Definition of intellectual

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1a : of or relating to the intellect or its use
b : developed or chiefly guided by the intellect rather than by emotion or experience : rational
c : requiring use of the intellect intellectual games
2a : given to study, reflection, and speculation
b : engaged in activity requiring the creative use of the intellect intellectual playwrights

intellectual

noun

Definition of intellectual (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : an intellectual person
2 intellectuals plural, archaic : intellectual powers

Other Words from intellectual

Adjective

intellectuality \ ˌin-​tə-​ˌlek-​chə-​ˈwa-​lə-​tē How to pronounce intellectual (audio) \ noun
intellectually \ ˌin-​tə-​ˈlek-​chə-​wə-​lē How to pronounce intellectual (audio) , -​chə-​lē , -​shwə-​lē , -​chü(-​ə)-​lē \ adverb
intellectualness \ ˌin-​tə-​ˈlek-​chə-​wəl-​nəs How to pronounce intellectual (audio) , -​chəl-​ , -​shwəl-​ , -​chü(-​ə)l-​ \ noun

Examples of intellectual in a Sentence

Adjective the social and intellectual life of the campus as the daughter of college professors, she's used to being around intellectual people Noun He thinks that he's an intellectual, but he doesn't know what he's talking about. She's a hard worker but she's no great intellectual. a café where artists and intellectuals mingle
Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective And for the first time in the 10 years the competition has been held at the VOA park, athletes with intellectual disabilities will be competing. Sue Kiesewetter, The Enquirer, 29 July 2022 Senate Bill 94 expands eligibility to receive a Work Ready Kentucky scholarship to students who have intellectual disabilities and are enrolled in a comprehensive transition and postsecondary program. Morgan Watkins, The Courier-Journal, 14 July 2022 The award was given to the company because of its commitment to competitive employment opportunities and creating an inclusive workplace for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities, according to a statement from The Arc. Tony Roberts, Baltimore Sun, 12 July 2022 Arc Detroit — advocates for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities. Liliana Webb, Detroit Free Press, 12 July 2022 For centuries, a marked face was interpreted as an outward sign of moral or intellectual degeneracy. Lindsey Fitzharris, Smithsonian Magazine, 1 July 2022 From father to daughter, there is a clear line in the moral and intellectual commitment to seeing the enemy’s humanity. Washington Post, 29 Apr. 2022 But unlike Naipaul, who settled in London and at times wrote disdainfully of his origins, Lamming returned home and became a moral, political and intellectual force for a newly independent country seeking to tell its own story. Hillel Italie, USA TODAY, 20 June 2022 But unlike Naipaul, who settled in London and at times wrote disdainfully of his origins, Mr. Lamming returned home and became a moral, political, and intellectual force for a newly independent country seeking to tell its own story. Hillel Italie, BostonGlobe.com, 19 June 2022 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun For an academic whose subject was historic musicology, Taruskin made a considerable splash as a public intellectual who published extensively in the New York Times, the New Republic and elsewhere. Los Angeles Times, 26 July 2022 My dad was a deep thinker, an intellectual, a man with a vocabulary as big as his heart. Annie Lane, oregonlive, 19 June 2022 In September, 1989, Adam Michnik, a Polish intellectual and a leader of the Solidarity movement, came to Ukraine to speak at Rukh’s first congress. David Remnick, The New Yorker, 21 Feb. 2022 Richard Taruskin, a commanding musicologist and public intellectual whose polemical scholarship and criticism upended conventional classical music history, died early Friday in Oakland, California. William Robin, BostonGlobe.com, 2 July 2022 As readers might expect from the title, the influence of W.E.B. Du Bois, a leading Black intellectual and sociologist who lived from 1868 to 1963, is present throughout. Samantha Laine Perfas, The Christian Science Monitor, 10 May 2022 Being an in-demand, and somewhat reluctant, public intellectual has left Robinson struggling to find time to start a new novel. New York Times, 11 May 2022 As the historian Simon Sebag Montefiore’s work has shown, Stalin was a genuine Marxist intellectual who believed in class warfare and the evils of the bourgeoisie as much as any student at the Sorbonne. Adam Gopnik, The New Yorker, 16 May 2022 Hannah-Jones wants to be taken seriously as a public intellectual who deserves her Pulitzer Prize and her university professorship and whose historical writings are taught in schools. Nr Editors, National Review, 17 Feb. 2022 See More

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

First Known Use of intellectual

Adjective

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

Noun

1599, in the meaning defined at sense 2

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Time Traveler for intellectual

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The first known use of intellectual was in the 15th century

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Dictionary Entries Near intellectual

intellective

intellectual

intellectual disability

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Last Updated

4 Aug 2022

Cite this Entry

“Intellectual.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/intellectual. Accessed 10 Aug. 2022.

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More Definitions for intellectual

intellectual

adjective
in·​tel·​lec·​tu·​al | \ ˌin-tə-ˈlek-chə-wəl How to pronounce intellectual (audio) \

Kids Definition of intellectual

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : of or relating to thought or understanding intellectual development
2 : interested in serious study and thought an intellectual person
3 : requiring study and thought an intellectual challenge

Other Words from intellectual

intellectually \ -​wə-​lē \ adverb

intellectual

noun

Kids Definition of intellectual (Entry 2 of 2)

: a person who takes pleasure in serious study and thought

More from Merriam-Webster on intellectual

Nglish: Translation of intellectual for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of intellectual for Arabic Speakers

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