intelligent

adjective
in·​tel·​li·​gent | \ in-ˈte-lə-jənt How to pronounce intelligent (audio) \

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 How to pronounce intelligential (audio) \ adjective
intelligently \ in-​ˈte-​lə-​jənt-​lē How to pronounce intelligently (audio) \ 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

Octopus and cephalopods, in general, are thought to be highly intelligent. Fox News, "Key to understanding aliens might be unlocked by octopus' tentacles," 2 July 2019 These sound like some pretty intelligent young people. oregonlive.com, "Portland high school student will compete in ‘Jeopardy!’ Teen Tournament," 11 June 2019 When Jessica crosses paths with a highly intelligent psychopath, she and Trish must repair their fractured relationship and team up to take him down. Chuck Barney, The Mercury News, "TV this week: ‘Big Little Lies,’ ‘Claws’ and ‘Pose’ return," 9 June 2019 How would intelligent life on a planet in such a solar system develop? Jiayang Fan, The New Yorker, "Liu Cixin’s War of the Worlds," 17 June 2019 Altman found Zhang competent and intelligent, but strongly tried to talk her out of her decision. CBS News, "Yujing Zhang, Chinese woman accused of entering Mar-a-Lago illegally, allowed to be her own attorney," 11 June 2019 Of those two competing representations, which one shows the real United Kingdom–the intelligent, forward-looking, inclusive one articulated in that Olympic ceremony, or the insular, ungenerous one expressed on that poster? Jonathan Coe, Time, "How Brexit Broke Britain and Revealed a Country at War With Itself," 6 June 2019 And just as the App Store unleashed the full potential of the iPhone, apps developed to leverage the data that the Apple Watch collects could transform it into the intelligent, indispensable health gadget of Tim Cook's dreams. Robbie Gonzalez, WIRED, "The Apple Watch Is Now the Control Center for Your Health," 4 June 2019 The Drake equation estimates the odds of various factors necessary for intelligent life to exist, including the rate of star formation, the fraction of stars that have planets and the fraction of habitable planets actually being inhabited. John Wenz, Discover Magazine, "The Secret Origins of the Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence," 11 Feb. 2019

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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Statistics for intelligent

Last Updated

11 Jul 2019

Look-up Popularity

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 How to pronounce intelligent (audio) \

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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Comments on intelligent

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