nous

noun

1
ˈnüs How to pronounce nous (audio)
also
ˈnau̇s How to pronounce nous (audio)
: mind, reason: such as
a
: an intelligent purposive principle of the world
b
: the divine reason regarded in Neoplatonism as the first emanation of God
2
ˈnau̇s How to pronounce nous (audio) chiefly British : common sense, alertness

Examples of nous in a Sentence

an Oxford don who was long on erudition but a little short on everyday nous
Recent Examples on the Web He's credited Pep Guardiola for his tactical nous in the past, but that doesn't explain away Sevilla. SI.com, 2 Oct. 2019 While John Stones is equally good in possession, the 25-year-old has not yet developed Alderweireld's defensive nous, which should come with age and experience. SI.com, 15 Aug. 2019 His defensive nous allows the creativity to flow freely from virtuoso talents such as Eden Hazard and Luka Modric. SI.com, 5 Sep. 2019 The 37-year-old has built a strong reputation for his tactical nous since retiring from playing. SI.com, 24 June 2019 The industry will have to use its considerable commercial nous to hit its growth targets if Brexit provokes a deep rupture with the EU. The Economist, 3 May 2018 Some creative nous, some flair – something to get England fans off their bloody seats for the first time in years. SI.com, 21 Mar. 2018 The nous of captain Lee Wallace, the longest serving current Rangers player at seven years, was sorely missed today. SI.com, 30 Apr. 2018 His establishment nous notwithstanding, Mr Pompeo is not playing Mr Trump so much as finding common cause with him. The Economist, 15 Mar. 2018 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'nous.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

Etymology

Greek noos, nous mind

First Known Use

1678, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of nous was in 1678

Cite this Entry

“Nous.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/nous. Accessed 25 Feb. 2024.

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