noun (1)
wis·​dom | \ ˈwiz-dəm How to pronounce wisdom (audio) \

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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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

More Stories There is child-appropriate wisdom in Peanuts. Bruce Handy, The Atlantic, "The Peanuts Characters Aren’t Ordinary Kids," 29 Aug. 2019 With the wisdom of your older work friends, you’ll be better prepared for whatever comes next. Matthew De Silva, Quartz at Work, "Why you should spend time with older colleagues outside of work," 29 Aug. 2019 With the over-60s’ share of the population expected to double to one-third by 2050, there is wisdom in this strategy. The Economist, "The elderly are the next big growth market for Chinese tech firms," 10 Aug. 2019 The two teams that will meet on Sunday can find wisdom in her words. Gary Peterson, The Mercury News, "Brandi Chastain’s advice for her younger self, and for the Women’s World Cup final teams," 5 July 2019 Now, the second-year coach at Arizona State and former ESPN analyst will have a chance to spread such wisdom in a classroom setting. Chuck Schilken, latimes.com, "Morning Briefing: Guess what LaVar Ball thinks is the Lakers' worst move ever," 17 June 2019 One concerned person gave some words of wisdom for the Reagan patriarch. Jennifer Aldrich, Country Living, "'Blue Bloods' Reveals a Friend of Frank Reagan Is Returning and Fans Are Panicking," 15 Mar. 2019 Words of wisdom for neophytes walking the carpet tonight. Kate Branch, Vogue, "Kendall Jenner Finally Sets the Record Straight on Her Acne—And It’s Empowering," 7 Jan. 2019 That pearl of wisdom comes courtesy of the great 20th century philosopher Homer Simpson, and who knows more about television than him? Bill Goodykoontz, azcentral, "Hasan Minhaj's Netflix show takes on Phoenix's Prop. 105, laughing all the while," 19 Aug. 2019

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 2019

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 How to pronounce wisdom (audio) \

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).


concealment of treason or felony

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