noun wis·dom \ ˈwiz-dəm \
|Updated on: 5 Jul 2018

Definition of wisdom

1 a : ability to discern inner qualities and relationships : insight
b : good sense : judgment
c : generally accepted belief
  • challenges what has become accepted wisdom among many historians
  • —Robert Darnton
d : accumulated philosophical or scientific learning : knowledge
2 : a wise attitude, belief, or course of action
3 : the teachings of the ancient wise men

Examples of wisdom in a Sentence

  1. She has gained a lot of wisdom over the years.

  2. a young person of great wisdom

  3. He had the wisdom to stop before he said too much.

  4. I fail to see the wisdom in doing that.

  5. He shared a valuable bit of wisdom with his daughter.

  6. These stories offer plenty of wisdom to readers.

Recent Examples of wisdom from the Web

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'wisdom.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

Origin and Etymology of wisdom

Middle English, from Old English wīsdōm, from wīs wise

Synonym Discussion of wisdom

sense, common sense, judgment, wisdom mean ability to reach intelligent conclusions. sense implies a reliable ability to judge and decide with soundness, prudence, and intelligence.
    • a choice showing good sense
common sense suggests an average degree of such ability without sophistication or special knowledge.
    • common sense tells me it's wrong
judgment implies sense tempered and refined by experience, training, and maturity.
    • they relied on her judgment for guidance
wisdom implies sense and judgment far above average.
    • a leader of rare wisdom



Definition of Wisdom

: a didactic book included in the Roman Catholic canon of the Old Testament and corresponding to the Wisdom of Solomon in the Protestant Apocrypha — see Bible Table

First Known Use of wisdom

15th century

in the meaning defined above

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WISDOM Defined for English Language Learners


Definition of wisdom for English Language Learners

  • : knowledge that is gained by having many experiences in life

  • : the natural ability to understand things that most other people cannot understand

  • : knowledge of what is proper or reasonable : good sense or judgment

WISDOM Defined for Kids


noun wis·dom \ ˈwiz-dəm \

Definition of wisdom for Students

1 : knowledge or learning gained over time
2 : good sense
3 : a wise attitude, belief, or course of action

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