in·​tu·​i·​tion | \ˌin-tü-ˈi-shən, -tyü-\

Definition of intuition 

1 : quick and ready insight

2a : immediate apprehension or cognition

b : knowledge or conviction gained by intuition

c : the power or faculty of attaining to direct knowledge or cognition without evident rational thought and inference

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Other Words from intuition

intuitional \ ˌin-​tü-​ˈish-​nəl , -​ˈi-​shə-​nᵊl, -​tyü-​ \ adjective

Examples of intuition in a Sentence

Intuition was telling her that something was very wrong. “How did you know I would drop by?” “Oh, I don't know. It must have been intuition.”

Recent Examples on the Web

Go is complex — there are more possible board positions than atoms in the universe — and the best players win not with sheer calculation, but through intuition. New York Times, "Mark Zuckerberg, Elon Musk and the Feud Over Killer Robots," 9 June 2018 That’ll be scientific research, really understanding the market, and some gut intuition. Alex Prewitt,, "With Tod Leiweke in Tow, Seattle's NHL Dreams Are Approaching Reality," 11 Apr. 2018 The 25-year-old singer, songwriter, instrumentalist, and producer from Toronto depended heavily on her intuition while curating her EP, Stone Woman, which released in February. Erica Gonzales, Harper's BAZAAR, "Charlotte Day Wilson Will Put You In Your Feelings," 26 June 2018 The DeepMind network develops its own similar intuition simply by examining a bunch of images from similar scenes. Timothy B. Lee, Ars Technica, "Google researchers created an amazing scene-rendering AI," 29 June 2018 Remember, cosmic warriors, neither tea leaf nor teacup has any intrinsic power; the fortunes are, ultimately, a reflection of your own intuition. Aliza Kelly Faragher, Allure, "Your Essential Guide to Tasseography, the Practice of Reading Tea Leaves," 7 May 2018 But one whose actions are guided entirely by his own baseless intuitions, obsession with his personal image, and mercenary interests (and/or, those of his staff) could prove even more destructive. Eric Levitz, Daily Intelligencer, "Trump Bids Goodbye to Gary Cohn – And Empirical Reality," 7 Mar. 2018 But in a sense von Neumann’s efforts were based on the wrong intuition. Stephen Wolfram, WIRED, "2001: A Space Odyssey Predicted The Future—50 Years Ago," 3 Apr. 2018 Our reasoning here applies what’s known as the principle of restricted choice, which comes up in the card game bridge, and is the intuition behind the formal mathematical procedure for updating beliefs based on new information, Bayesian inference. Adam Sanjurjo, Scientific American, "Momentum Isn’t Magic—Vindicating the Hot Hand with the Mathematics of Streaks," 28 Mar. 2018

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

circa 1600, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for intuition

Middle English intuycyon, from Late Latin intuition-, intuitio act of contemplating, from Latin intuēri to look at, contemplate, from in- + tuēri to look at

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Statistics for intuition

Last Updated

1 Nov 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for intuition

The first known use of intuition was circa 1600

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More Definitions for intuition



English Language Learners Definition of intuition

: a natural ability or power that makes it possible to know something without any proof or evidence : a feeling that guides a person to act a certain way without fully understanding why

: something that is known or understood without proof or evidence


in·​tu·​i·​tion | \ˌin-tü-ˈi-shən, -tyü-\

Kids Definition of intuition

1 : the ability to know something without having proof

2 : something known without proof I had an intuition you'd come.


in·​tu·​ition | \ˌin-t(y)u̇-ˈish-ən \

Medical Definition of intuition 

1 : immediate apprehension or cognition without reasoning or inferring

2 : knowledge or conviction gained by intuition

3 : the power or faculty of gaining direct knowledge or cognition without evident rational thought and inference

Other Words from intuition

intuit \ in-​ˈt(y)ü-​ət \ transitive verb
intuitional \ ˌin-​t(y)u̇-​ˈish-​nəl, -​ən-​ᵊl \ adjective
intuitive \ in-​ˈt(y)ü-​ət-​iv \ adjective
intuitively adverb

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Comments on intuition

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by force of circumstances

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