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

Definition of intelligentsia

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

Synonyms for intelligentsia


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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 conservative movement now has a legal intelligentsia of academics, writers, and national advocacy groups who fundamentally shaped how Roe was overturned. Emma Green, The New Yorker, 24 July 2022 At the same time, Ukrainian intelligentsia called for shaking off Russian imperial embrace in culture. Daria Mattingly, CNN, 29 June 2022 The book, centering on a Mexican literary critic who suspects that his translator wife is having an affair with an American novelist, offers a window on the social and intellectual world of a privileged Mexico City intelligentsia. New York Times, 31 May 2022 Her first book was her PhD thesis, which focused on Hindi writer Munshi Premchand and his role in the formation of the nationalist intelligentsia of the 20th century. Manavi Kapur, Quartz, 27 May 2022 Today America’s intelligentsia is in the grip of a hallucinogenic fever dream. Alex Kuczynski, Town & Country, 20 Jan. 2022 Now, Trump-friendly intelligentsia and power-brokers are far more allured by the use of government interventions to achieve conservative ends. Ethan Lamb, National Review, 23 Mar. 2022 Novaya cemented itself as the go-to publication of Russia’s liberal intelligentsia during the heyday of independent journalism in the 1990s. Washington Post, 21 Mar. 2022 Recently a prominent Russian critic wrote a very good piece about the collective responsibility of Russian intelligentsia, including filmmakers. Naman Ramachandran, Variety, 14 Mar. 2022 See More

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.

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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Time Traveler for intelligentsia

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The first known use of intelligentsia was in 1905

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Dictionary Entries Near intelligentsia

intelligent life



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Statistics for intelligentsia

Last Updated

2 Aug 2022

Cite this Entry

“Intelligentsia.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 14 Aug. 2022.

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More from Merriam-Webster on intelligentsia

Nglish: Translation of intelligentsia for Spanish Speakers Encyclopedia article about intelligentsia


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