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

The world grapples with new knowledge of an intelligent extraterrestrial civilization, and all the promise and terror that comes with that discovery. Vox Staff, Vox, "The most thought-provoking books the Vox staff read in 2018," 21 Dec. 2018 Croatia’s place in the World Cup semifinals is not the natural conclusion of an intelligent, long-term project. Rory Smith, New York Times, "Belgium’s Blueprint, Croatia’s Chaos, and the Murky Path to World Cup Glory," 10 July 2018 The court papers Ramos authored, other records and interviews suggest an intelligent but isolated man who was willing to pursue a vendetta for years. Ian Duncan, baltimoresun.com, "Capital Gazette shooting suspect's anger flared, and fell silent. Then, police say, it exploded," 8 July 2018 And certainly not Gabriel Pascal, who made the 1939 film with an iron-willed, keenly intelligent Wendy Hiller as Eliza and a charismatic but sexless Leslie Howard as Higgins. Corby Kummer, The Atlantic, "How Do Carousel and My Fair Lady Fare in 2018?," 8 July 2018 The court papers Ramos wrote, other records and interviews suggest an intelligent but isolated man who was willing to pursue a vendetta for years. Anchorage Daily News, "Maryland newspaper shooting suspect’s anger flared, and fell silent. Then it exploded, police say," 8 July 2018 But the future is unknown: How should upstream and downstream ICT industries seize the opportunities of the intelligent world? The Economist, "Ceasefires in South Sudan seldom last," 5 July 2018 Comey is clearly an intelligent man and usually a perceptive one as well. Matt Ford, The New Republic, "How Conservatives Conned James Comey," 15 June 2018 So when the scientists put her in a lab cage and shut the lights off for the evening, this highly intelligent canine manages to escape and return to her family. Nathan Mattise, Ars Technica, "Laika: Forget historic tragedy, this first space dog saves alien planets," 14 Oct. 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

21 Mar 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 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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