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

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from intelligent

intelligential \ in-​ˌte-​lə-​ˈjen(t)-​shəl How to pronounce intelligent (audio) \ adjective
intelligently \ in-​ˈte-​lə-​jənt-​lē How to pronounce intelligent (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

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 It was also assumed that the group was less intelligent than the individual. Annie Murphy Paul, Wired, 15 June 2021 The other side gives all the variables that add up to that number, including the average rate of star formation, the number of planets around those stars that have developed intelligent life and the ability to send radio signals. Gregory Mcnamee, CNN, 14 June 2021 Santos Escobar was so intelligent working with ladders in this match. Alfred Konuwa, Forbes, 9 Apr. 2021 There is growing consensus that intelligent life here may well have depended on improbable contingencies such as the Chicxulub asteroid impact, sixty-six million years ago, which obliterated the dinosaurs. The New Yorker, 8 Feb. 2021 Supply chains and manufacturing networks must become more intelligent, resilient, connected, transparent, automated, modular, and flexible. Victoria Rochard, Forbes, 3 June 2021 To get started, Microsoft unveiled Azure Percept Vision, a smart camera; plus Azure Percept Audio, an intelligent audio system at its virtual Microsoft Ignite confernece. Mark Hachman, PCWorld, 2 Mar. 2021 About the precedents of how Black people overcame the Dred Scott decision, overcame Reconstruction, overcame Plessy v. Ferguson — separate but equal, overcame Jim Crow and his wiser, more intelligent son, Jim Crow Jr. Washington Post, 8 Dec. 2020 This rises to 71% among those who believe intelligent life on other planets exists. Fred Backus, CBS News, 13 May 2021

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.

See More

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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More About intelligent

Time Traveler for intelligent

Time Traveler

The first known use of intelligent was circa 1540

See more words from the same year

Statistics for intelligent

Last Updated

25 Jun 2021

Cite this Entry

“Intelligent.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/intelligent. Accessed 25 Jun. 2021.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon

Keep scrolling for more

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

Choose the Right Synonym for intelligent

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.

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

More from Merriam-Webster on intelligent

Nglish: Translation of intelligent for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of intelligent for Arabic Speakers

WORD OF THE DAY

Test Your Vocabulary

Return of Name that Color!

  • a light greenish blue color
  • Name that color:
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

TAKE THE QUIZ
 AlphaBear 2

Spell words. Make bears.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!