intelligent

adjective
in·​tel·​li·​gent | \ in-ˈte-lə-jənt \

Definition of intelligent

1a : having or indicating a high or satisfactory degree of intelligence and mental capacity
b : revealing or reflecting good judgment or sound thought : skillful
2a : possessing intelligence
b : guided or directed by intellect : rational
3a : guided or controlled by a computer especially : smart sense 7c — compare dumb sense 7
b : able to produce printed material from digital signals an intelligent copier

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Other Words from intelligent

intelligential \ in-​ˌte-​lə-​ˈjen(t)-​shəl \ adjective
intelligently \ in-​ˈte-​lə-​jənt-​lē \ adverb

Choose the Right Synonym for intelligent

intelligent, clever, alert, quick-witted mean mentally keen or quick. intelligent stresses success in coping with new situations and solving problems. an intelligent person could assemble it fast clever implies native ability or aptness and sometimes suggests a lack of more substantial qualities. clever with words alert stresses quickness in perceiving and understanding. alert to new technology quick-witted implies promptness in finding answers in debate or in devising expedients in moments of danger or challenge. no match for his quick-witted opponent

intelligent, clever, and brilliant mean having a good amount of mental ability. intelligent is used of a person who can handle new situations and solve problems. We need an intelligent person to run the company. clever is used of a person who learns very quickly. The clever youngster learned the trick in a few minutes. brilliant is used of a person whose mental ability is much greater than normal. A brilliant doctor discovered the cure for that disease.

Examples of intelligent in a Sentence

She asked some intelligent questions. He's a hard worker but he's not very intelligent.

Recent Examples on the Web

And Greg would agree: anybody with a good sense of humor is obviously highly intelligent. Fox News, "Kavanaugh grilled on cases during confirmation hearing," 6 Sep. 2018 After hearing the news that Robin Williams died, a friend of Koko's, the highly intelligent gorilla was somber all day. Lilly Price, USA TODAY, "Koko, the gorilla famous for knowing sign language, dies in her sleep," 21 June 2018 In a 2007 report in PEOPLE, friends described Diehl-Armstrong as highly intelligent. Chris Harris, PEOPLE.com, "The Bizarre Real-Life Story of the Pizza Guy Who Robbed a Bank with a Bomb Around His Neck," 21 May 2018 Most journalists are diligent, honest and intelligent. Gerard Baker, WSJ, "In Our ‘Post-Truth’ Era, We Could Use Some Humility," 30 Nov. 2018 The majestic and intelligent creatures have been used for logging, in ceremonial celebrations, as royal status symbols, and as vehicles of war. Ashlea Halpern, Condé Nast Traveler, "Is It Ever Okay to Ride Elephants While on Vacation? It’s Complicated...," 18 Oct. 2018 The defense will be a mirror image of the head coach—aggressive and intelligent. Steve Brand, sandiegouniontribune.com, "Freddy Dunkle to lead Montgomery football program," 5 July 2018 Jurassic World and its sequel Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom (in theaters June 22), which promotes incredibly perceptive and intelligent raptor Blue to the level of leading lady, continue this theme. refinery29.com, "The Most Interesting Woman In Fallen Kingdom Is A Raptor: How The Jurassic Park Franchise Regressed," 20 June 2018 Adney was a deeply intelligent and inquisitive man who entered college at the young age of 13. Anchorage Daily News, "In ‘Klondike Stampede,’ the madness of the Gold Rush, told by one who lived it," 14 Apr. 2018

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

circa 1540, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

History and Etymology for intelligent

Latin intelligent-, intelligens, present participle of intelligere, intellegere to understand, from inter- + legere to gather, select — more at legend

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Last Updated

10 Jan 2019

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Time Traveler for intelligent

The first known use of intelligent was circa 1540

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More Definitions for intelligent

intelligent

adjective

English Language Learners Definition of intelligent

: having or showing the ability to easily learn or understand things or to deal with new or difficult situations : having or showing a lot of intelligence

: able to learn and understand things

: having an ability to deal with problems or situations that resembles or suggests the ability of an intelligent person

intelligent

adjective
in·​tel·​li·​gent | \ in-ˈte-lə-jənt \

Kids Definition of intelligent

1 : having or showing serious thought and good judgment an intelligent student an intelligent decision
2 : able to learn and understand Is there intelligent life on other planets?

Other Words from intelligent

intelligently adverb

intelligent

adjective
in·​tel·​li·​gent

Legal Definition of intelligent

: having or indicating a high or satisfactory degree of intelligence and mental capacity especially : having or indicating an understanding of the nature and consequences of an act or decision a knowing and intelligent waiver of counsel — compare knowing

Note: Under Miranda v. Arizona, 384 U.S. 436 (1966), a waiver of rights must be knowing and intelligent.

Other Words from intelligent

intelligently adverb

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