phi·​los·​o·​pher | \ fə-ˈlä-s(ə-)fər How to pronounce philosopher (audio) \

Definition of philosopher

1a : a person who seeks wisdom or enlightenment : scholar, thinker
b : a student of philosophy
2a : a person whose philosophical perspective makes meeting trouble with equanimity easier
b : an expounder of a theory in a particular area of experience
c : one who philosophizes

Examples of philosopher in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web During those years, Baker began reading the books of anarchist philosopher Emma Goldman, political scientist Hannah Arendt and civil rights leaders Malcolm X and Angela Davis, his friends said. Star Tribune, "After the FBI warned about far-right attacks, agents arrested a leftist ex-soldier," 16 Feb. 2021 Notre Dame natural law philosopher Alasdair MacIntyre. Peter Hammond Schwartz, The New Republic, "Originalism Is Dead. Long Live Catholic Natural Law.," 3 Feb. 2021 So are the varied attitudes and poses of that fresco’s ancient philosophers and mathematicians—the work includes portraits of Bramante as Euclid and Michelangelo as the famously ill-tempered philosopher Heraclitus. Cammy Brothers, WSJ, "Abroad at Home: Virtual Vatican," 20 Jan. 2021 In 1996-97, Stuart Hampshire, an eminent moral philosopher, gave the Tanner Lecture on Human Values at Harvard University. Monte Bute, Star Tribune, "We're all institutionalists now," 9 Jan. 2021 Earlier that month, in a series of tweets about Stoicism and fasting, Barnes had quoted a few lines from Seneca, the Roman philosopher who served as an adviser to Nero, then was accused of conspiring to have the ruthless emperor assassinated. Arielle Pardes, Wired, "The Facebook Defectors Turning Trump’s Strategy Against Him," 15 Sep. 2020 In 2018, the philosopher Julian Baggini wrote an essay for the magazine Aeon. Megan Garber, The Atlantic, "How America Got Comfortable With Comfort TV," 27 Dec. 2020 This is the last book by one of our most eminent recent philosophers, who died of cancer in January this year, about the last opera by the only composer who can also be considered a philosopher in his own right. Barnaby Crowcroft, National Review, "Eternal Lessons from Wagner’s Last Opera," 26 Dec. 2020 Writing down thoughts is akin to someone with a disability using a ramp to more easily enter a building, explained Andy Clark, a philosopher and cognitive scientist at the University of Edinburgh, in a 2018 New Yorker article. David G. Allan, CNN, "Pandemic diaries: Why journaling now is the best time to start or restart," 14 Dec. 2020

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

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

History and Etymology for philosopher

Middle English philosophe, philosophre, from Anglo-French, from Latin philosophus, from Greek philosophos, from phil- + sophia wisdom, from sophos wise

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Time Traveler for philosopher

Time Traveler

The first known use of philosopher was in the 14th century

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Statistics for philosopher

Last Updated

24 Feb 2021

Cite this Entry

“Philosopher.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 25 Feb. 2021.

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English Language Learners Definition of philosopher

: a person who studies ideas about knowledge, truth, the nature and meaning of life, etc. : a person who studies philosophy


phi·​los·​o·​pher | \ fə-ˈlä-sə-fər How to pronounce philosopher (audio) \

Kids Definition of philosopher

1 : a person who studies ideas about knowledge, right and wrong, reasoning, and the value of things
2 : a person who takes misfortunes with calmness and courage

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