noun (1)
wis·​dom | \ˈwiz-dəm \

Definition of wisdom 

(Entry 1 of 2)

1a : 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


noun (2)

Definition of Wisdom (Entry 2 of 2)

: 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

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Synonyms & Antonyms for wisdom

Synonyms: Noun (1)

common sense, discreetness, discretion, gumption [chiefly dialect], horse sense, levelheadedness, policy, prudence, sense, sensibleness, wit

Antonyms: Noun (1)

imprudence, indiscretion

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Choose the Right Synonym for wisdom

Noun (1)

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

Examples of wisdom in a Sentence

Noun (1)

She has gained a lot of wisdom over the years. a young person of great wisdom He had the wisdom to stop before he said too much. I fail to see the wisdom in doing that. He shared a valuable bit of wisdom with his daughter. These stories offer plenty of wisdom to readers.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Belief in the untutored wisdom of the masses is the stuff of socialist fantasies. The Economist, "The Conservative Party has trashed the basic principles of conservatism," 12 July 2018 Augur is based on the wisdom of crowds, or the belief that many minds are better than one expert. Lucinda Shen, Fortune, "Ethereum-Based Blockchain Betting Platform Augur Just Launched. Here's Why It's Not Married to Either," 9 July 2018 The wisdom of this move depends on your circumstances and other options. Ken Fisher, USA TODAY, "401(k) investing: 6 tips for managing your retirement savings," 8 July 2018 Big tech has made a fetish of efficiency, of data, of the wisdom of the market. Franklin Foer, The Atlantic, "The Death of the Public Square," 6 July 2018 But setting that debate aside, where are the other solutions for teams looking to heed the wisdom of the past five years? Andrew Sharp, SI.com, "The NBA Draft and the Impossible Standards of the Warriors Era," 20 June 2018 The Judicial Nominating Commission and the Governor have fully vetted Judges Ishak and Kreis and their conduct on the bench since their appointment validates the wisdom of these appointments. The Aegis, "Retain sitting Judges Ishak and Kreis, former Harford Bar president writes [Letter]," 20 June 2018 Glover leaned on the wisdom of elders during the discussion, invoking the words and stories of James Baldwin, the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr., Langston Hughes and others. Mary Louise Schumacher, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Danny Glover headlines event celebrating return of America's Black Holocaust Museum," 18 June 2018 As well as imparting the wisdom of being adorable on social media at all times, Kim also sat down alongside Alice and The Today Show’s Hoda Kotb for an interview set to be shown later um, today. Lucy Wood, Marie Claire, "Kim Kardashian Introduces Pardoned Prisoner Alice Marie Johnson to Snapchat," 14 June 2018

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.

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First Known Use of wisdom

Noun (1)

before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1d

Noun (2)

15th century, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for wisdom

Noun (1)

Middle English, from Old English wīsdōm, from wīs wise

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Statistics for wisdom

Last Updated

8 Nov 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for wisdom

The first known use of wisdom was before the 12th century

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More Definitions for wisdom



English Language Learners Definition of wisdom

: 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


wis·​dom | \ˈwiz-dəm \

Kids Definition of wisdom

1 : knowledge or learning gained over time

2 : good sense

3 : a wise attitude, belief, or course of action

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Comments on wisdom

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