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

The day-to-day pearls of wisdom imparted by coaches to players – from youth sports to high school, to college and even the pros – are well-known: Try your hardest, don't lose focus, support your teammates, keep your chin up. Eddie Pells, The Christian Science Monitor, "Bond between players and coach may have saved Thai boy's lives," 13 July 2018 Mary Ellen was beloved by her family who depended upon her quiet wisdom, patience and good humor. Hartford Courant, courant.com, "Mary Ellen Shea," 8 July 2018 When America sobered up under Obama, other powers saw not wisdom but a chance to fill the gap. George Packer, The New Yorker, "Witnessing the Obama Presidency, from Start to Finish," 5 June 2018 Those who believe in their wisdom should speak of it more persuasively. Peggy Noonan, WSJ, "We Must Improve Our Trust," 31 May 2018 And always passing on his wisdom of life, discipline and always helping others. Richard Obert, azcentral, "Arizona Coaches Association Hall of Fame wrestling coach John Carlson dies," 13 May 2018 On the international front, the two sides agreed to demonstrate their collective wisdom, talents, and solidarity by jointly participating international sports events such as the 2018 Asian Games. CNN, "READ: Full declaration of North and South Korean summit," 27 Apr. 2018 The night before the Season 10 premiere, the 14 new queens gathered for a red carpet event on MTV's TRL, and shared their wisdom about Drag Race's impressive longevity and paradigm-shifting impact on pop culture. Maeve Mcdermott, USA TODAY, "Meet the queens of 'RuPaul's Drag Race' season 10 — and see how they're changing culture," 22 Mar. 2018 In the State of the State speech Tuesday night, Kasich is offering not merely the wisdom of a lame duck governor. Chrissie Thompson, Cincinnati.com, "John Kasich winds down as Ohio governor in State of the State, while stoking 2020 chances," 6 Mar. 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

13 Sep 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

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


a magnificent or impressive array

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