in·​tel·​li·​gent·​sia | \in-ˌte-lə-ˈjen(t)-sē-ə, -ˈgen(t)- \

Definition of intelligentsia 

: intellectuals who form an artistic, social, or political vanguard or elite

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Examples of intelligentsia in a Sentence

a presidential candidate who was the darling of the intelligentsia—and very few others

Recent Examples on the Web

The Trump presidency has exerted a gravitational pull on the conservative intelligentsia. Jonathan Chait, Daily Intelligencer, "The Gangster Morality of Anti-Anti-Trumpism," 30 May 2018 Typically, these questions are left to technologists and to the intelligentsia of related scientific fields. Henry A. Kissinger, The Atlantic, "How the Enlightenment Ends," 15 May 2018 During the 2016 primaries, the right-wing intelligentsia mobilized in opposition to Trump. Eric Levitz, Daily Intelligencer, "The Liberal Media Can Have Ideological Diversity Without Conservatives," 6 May 2018 Members of the basketball intelligentsia routinely describe her as one of the game’s top analysts. Noam Scheiber, New York Times, "Doris Burke Has Game," 28 Apr. 2018 Magyar Nemzet was a leading publication of the brief anti-Soviet uprising in 1956 and later, while still under state censorship control, was considered the intelligentsia's newspaper. Fox News, "Hungary: Conservative paper critical of government closing," 10 Apr. 2018 In 1953, the 39-year-old Ortese, a native Roman who had spent much of her life in Naples, published a mixed-genre book (three short stories, two pieces of reportage) that enraged many locals, particularly among the intelligentsia. Ben Downing, WSJ, "‘Neapolitan Chronicles’ Review: Naples Painted Black," 6 Apr. 2018 And would all of this have happened with little to no complaint from the conservative intelligentsia? Eric Levitz, Daily Intelligencer, "John Bolton and The Anti-Muslim Bigotry of Mainstream Conservatism," 27 Mar. 2018 Each time conservatives cracked down on reformist activists and blocked their initiatives within the state, the reformist leadership and intelligentsia called on the supporters to be calm. Mohammad Ali Kadivar, Washington Post, "Why haven't reformists joined the protests sweeping Iran?," 5 Jan. 2018

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

1905, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for intelligentsia

Russian intelligentsiya, from Latin intelligentia intelligence

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The first known use of intelligentsia was in 1905

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English Language Learners Definition of intelligentsia

: a group of intelligent and well-educated people who guide or try to guide the political, artistic, or social development of their society

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