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 Or at least that is what US founding father and philosopher James Madison thought. Ephrat Livni, Quartz, "Impeachment exists to protect the US, not to punish its president," 14 Dec. 2019 Our famous Harvard historian and philosopher George Santayana said those people that don't remember the past are condemned to relive it. CBS News, "Transcript: David Rubenstein on "Face the Nation", December 1, 2019," 1 Dec. 2019 Under Emperor Rudolf II, a patron of the arts and sciences, Prague became a beacon for astronomers, alchemists, and philosophers. Alex Schechter, National Geographic, "Why Prague is the best place for astronomy buffs," 4 Nov. 2019 Painter, sculptor, writer and philosopher Lee Ufan (born 1936) first came to prominence in the late 1960s as one of the major proponents of the Japanese avant-garde group Mono-ha. Roger Catlin, Smithsonian, "Lee Ufan’s Transformative Sculptures Are in Dialogue With the Spaces They Inhabit," 3 Oct. 2019 Whether footballer or philosopher, Eric Cantona never fails to entertain. Ben Morse, CNN, "'As flies to wanton boys are we to the gods': Eric Cantona speech leaves audience baffled," 30 Aug. 2019 Jay Reatard and Canadian writer and philosopher Anne Carson, according to Furman. Nick Williams, Billboard, "Baroque Pop Artist Ezra Furman Shares Summer of Pride Mix & Talks Bisexual, Trans Identity," 18 July 2019 That is an appealing prospect, but philosopher Nick Bostrom has raised compelling objections to the assumption. William Poundstone, Vox, "A math equation that predicts the end of humanity," 5 July 2019 But as Wittgenstein and other philosophers of language have long pointed out, language is fundamentally ambiguous. Jeremy Kahn, Fortune, "A.I. breakthroughs in natural-language processing are big for business," 20 Jan. 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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Last Updated

18 Feb 2020

Cite this Entry

“Philosopher.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 23 Feb. 2020.

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More Definitions for philosopher


How to pronounce philosopher (audio)

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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