wisdom

1 of 2

noun (1)

wis·​dom ˈwiz-dəm How to pronounce wisdom (audio)
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 historiansRobert 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

Wisdom

2 of 2

noun (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
Choose the Right Synonym for 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

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.
Recent Examples on the Web
Noun
But if the stakes are high, why not benefit from the collective wisdom of those around you? Carmine Gallo, Forbes, 29 Mar. 2024 As Donald Trump prepares for a rematch against Biden, Republicans are debating the wisdom of the former president’s decision to bypass any reconciliation with Nikki Haley and her voters. Maggie Haberman, New York Times, 26 Mar. 2024 See all Example Sentences for wisdom 

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'wisdom.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

Etymology

Noun (1)

Middle English, from Old English wīsdōm, from wīs wise

First Known Use

Noun (1)

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

Noun (2)

15th century, in the meaning defined above

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

Dictionary Entries Near wisdom

Cite this Entry

“Wisdom.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/wisdom. Accessed 14 Apr. 2024.

Kids Definition

wisdom

1 of 2 noun
wis·​dom ˈwiz-dəm How to pronounce wisdom (audio)
1
a
: learning acquired over a period of time : knowledge
b
: ability to see beneath the surface of things : insight
c
: good sense : judgment
2
: a wise attitude, belief, or course of action

Wisdom

2 of 2 noun
: 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

More from Merriam-Webster on wisdom

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
Love words? Need even more definitions?

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