phi·los·o·pher | \fə-ˈlä-s(ə-)fər \

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

The lineup of geniuses in pre-World War I Vienna included Sigmund Freud, composers Gustav Mahler and Arnold Schoenberg, philosopher Ludwig Wittgenstein and artist Gustav Klimt. J.s. Marcus, WSJ, "Faces of Old Vienna," 12 July 2018 Plato laid out the correct way to educate philosopher-kings in The Republic. Bob Morris, Town & Country, "How College Courses on Happiness and Humiliation Because the Hottest Trend on Campus," 10 July 2018 Billy Graham is the closest that Google can manage to an important theologian or philosopher. Franklin Foer, The Atlantic, "The Death of the Public Square," 6 July 2018 In the 1950s, Lanzmann lived with French writer and philosopher Simone de Beauvoir. Jordan Mintzer, The Hollywood Reporter, "Claude Lanzmann, French Director of Holocaust Documentary 'Shoah,' Dies at 92," 5 July 2018 On each side is an arcade with the marble busts of 10 of the most famous ancient Greek thinkers and philosophers, with their names etched in Greek. Hasan Dudar, Detroit Free Press, "This Dearborn high school looks like a castle," 27 June 2018 The old-time skeptics had a friend in Socrates, the world's first rock-star philosopher. Jon Fobes,, "A time-tested, no-cost education awaits! Beyond Belief (opinion video)," 8 May 2018 The slime mold is both many and one at the same time — and therefore catnip for philosophers like Keats. Brian Resnick, Vox, "Trump doesn’t have a science adviser. This slime mold is available.," 5 Apr. 2018 Williams can sound like a sort-of developer-philosopher with a soft Texas drawl, but other mall operators, while less abstract, strike the same basic notes. Rick Romell, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "As anchors close, Southridge and other malls turn to less retail and more fun," 27 Jan. 2018

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.

See More

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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about philosopher

Share philosopher

Statistics for philosopher

Last Updated

14 Oct 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for philosopher

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

See more words from the same century

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for philosopher



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 \

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

Keep scrolling for more

More from Merriam-Webster on philosopher

Spanish Central: Translation of philosopher

Nglish: Translation of philosopher for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of philosopher for Arabic Speakers

Comments on philosopher

What made you want to look up philosopher? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


one that holds something together

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Words from Greek and Roman Mythology Quiz

  • the-triumph-of-venus-by-alessandro-magnasco
  • Boreal comes from the name of the ancient Greek god of which wind?
How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!

Syn City

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.


Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!