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 Locke, a devout Christian, was not regarded as a philosopher of liberalism until the early twentieth century. Pankaj Mishra, The New Yorker, "Liberalism According to The Economist," 4 Nov. 2019 More than 2000 years ago, the Greek philosopher Philodemus (or one of his scribes) painstakingly inked a history of the country’s great thinkers, called History of the Academy, on a giant scroll of papyrus. Eva Frederick, Science | AAAS, "Hidden writing revealed on ancient scroll buried in same ash as Pompeii," 4 Oct. 2019 Thomke recommends that companies put the scientific method to work, that, of course, is the empirical approach to conducting experiments developed back in 1620 by philosopher and scientist Sir Francis Bacon. Gwen Moran, Fortune, "How Giving Thinkers and Tinkerers Room to Experiment Builds a Better Company," 17 Nov. 2019 In the months of chats obtained by ProPublica, Rousseau is by turns amateur philosopher and historian, as well as the group’s sole spokesman and its online policeman. ProPublica, "They Are Racist; Some of Them Have Guns. Inside the White Supremacist Group Hiding in Plain Sight.," 13 Nov. 2019 These accounts triggered an intense scholarly debate as philosophers and physicians alike sought to resolve the disconnect between the reports’ fantastic details and their reputable sources. Oscar Urbiola, National Geographic, "How did 18th-century vampire hunters identify the undead? Blood and fingernails," 29 Oct. 2019 British philosopher and Nobel laureate Bertrand Russell was one of the 20th century’s earliest advocates, and a type of basic income was debated, and rejected, at the 1920 U.K. Labour Party conference. Washington Post, "Universal Basic Income," 29 Oct. 2019 Some philosophers and physicists argue that the new findings have striking implications for the black hole information paradox, a profound 45-year-old puzzle about whether or how quantum information escapes black holes. Quanta Magazine, "Philosophers Debate New ‘Sonic Black Hole’ Discovery," 27 Aug. 2019 As a new generation of college students gets ready to return to campus, I’m reminded of the late Allan Bloom, the University of Chicago professor, philosopher and — on the subject of university education — famously eloquent grump. Clarence Page,, "Column: Don’t make diversity the enemy of excellence," 13 Aug. 2019

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

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

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Statistics for philosopher

Last Updated

9 Dec 2019

Cite this Entry

“Philosopher.” The Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., Accessed 14 December 2019.

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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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