wise

adjective
\ ˈwīz How to pronounce wise (audio) \
wiser; wisest

Definition of wise

 (Entry 1 of 7)

1a : characterized by wisdom : marked by deep understanding, keen discernment, and a capacity for sound judgment
b : exercising or showing sound judgment : prudent a wise investor
2a : evidencing or hinting at the possession of inside information : knowing
b : possessing inside information the police got wise to his whereabouts
c : crafty, shrewd
d : aware of or informed about a particular matter usually used in the comparative in negative constructions with the was none the wiser about their plans
3 : insolent, smart-alecky, fresh a tough kid with a wise mouth
4 archaic : skilled in magic or divination

wise

verb (1)
wised; wising

Definition of wise (Entry 2 of 7)

intransitive verb

: to become informed or knowledgeable : learn used with up

transitive verb

: to give instruction or information to : teach usually used with up wise him up about procedures

wise

noun

Definition of wise (Entry 3 of 7)

: manner, way in any wise Old age seemed in no wise to have dulled him, but to have sharpened …— Herman Melville

wise

verb (2)
wised; wising

Definition of wise (Entry 4 of 7)

transitive verb

1 chiefly Scotland

a : direct, guide
2 chiefly Scotland : to divert or impel in a given direction : send

Definition of -wise (Entry 5 of 7)

1a : in the manner of crabwise fanwise
b : in the position or direction of slantwise clockwise
2 : with regard to : in respect of dollarwise

Wise

biographical name (1)
\ ˈwīz How to pronounce Wise (audio) \

Definition of Wise (Entry 6 of 7)

Stephen Samuel 1874–1949 American (Hungarian-born) rabbi

Wise

biographical name (2)

Definition of Wise (Entry 7 of 7)

Thomas James 1859–1937 English bibliophile and forger

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Other Words from wise

Adjective

wisely adverb
wiseness noun

Synonyms & Antonyms for wise

Synonyms: Adjective

discerning, insightful, perceptive, prudent, sagacious, sage, sapient

Antonyms: Adjective

unperceptive, unwise

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Choose the Right Synonym for wise

Adjective

wise, sage, sapient, judicious, prudent, sensible, sane mean having or showing sound judgment. wise suggests great understanding of people and of situations and unusual discernment and judgment in dealing with them. wise beyond his tender years sage suggests wide experience, great learning, and wisdom. the sage advice of my father sapient suggests great sagacity and discernment. the sapient musings of an old philosopher judicious stresses a capacity for reaching wise decisions or just conclusions. judicious parents using kindness and discipline in equal measure prudent suggests the exercise of restraint guided by sound practical wisdom and discretion. a prudent decision to wait out the storm sensible applies to action guided and restrained by good sense and rationality. a sensible woman who was not fooled by flattery sane stresses mental soundness, rationality, and levelheadedness. remained sane even in times of crises

Examples of wise in a Sentence

Adjective

I'm a little wiser now than I was back then. The wisest course of action would be to leave. That was a wise choice. Many have benefited from her wise counsel.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective

Holiday, who will turn 29 on Wednesday (June 12), and Williamson, who will turn 19 on July 16, are a decade apart age-wise. Jeff Duncan, nola.com, "Pelicans have the right man in charge to execute Plan Z," 8 June 2019 Passersby and would-be harassers alike are none the wiser. Marina Koren, The Atlantic, "The Case for Wearing AirPods All the Time," 5 June 2019 The Dolphins defense has fallen short of expectations for years, and there was very little done this offseason personnel-wise to fix that unit’s problems. Omar Kelly, sun-sentinel.com, "Kelly: There’s very little that’s appetizing about this Dolphins team | Commentary," 5 June 2019 Last year, one whipped a kayaker with a helpless octopus and then swam away before anyone was the wiser. David Grossman, Popular Mechanics, "Leopard Seal Poops Out USB Drive, Confusing Scientists," 5 Feb. 2019 Marble’s aforementioned issue with acids generally makes white the wisest choice for a countertop installation, because the shade is less likely to show the etching and scratches that can occur. Kelly Dawson, House Beautiful, "Everything You Need to Know About Having a Marble Countertop," 5 Feb. 2019 Unfortunately for Turner, Thrones fans have gotten wise to the cast’s habit of teasing. Megan Mccluskey, Time, "Sophie Turner's New Game of Thrones Tattoo May Not Mean What You Think," 22 June 2018 As Khannah flashed it on a screen with a projector, the five members of his team stole furtive glances at one another, nervous that Balwani might become wise to the prank. John Carreyrou, WIRED, "A New Look Inside Theranos’ Dysfunctional Corporate Culture," 21 May 2018 More on the Wolverines: Cesar Ruiz is a year older, a year wiser. Nick Baumgardner, Detroit Free Press, "Ask Nick: Is Michigan's offensive line capable of a leap?," 12 May 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

The 44th anniversary of Illinois’ state lottery is less than seven weeks away, and the only concern state government ever seems to have is when people wise up to the lousy odds, buy fewer tickets and revenue projections are missed. Phil Rosenthal, chicagotribune.com, "Morality a non-factor as Illinois, others weigh sports betting," 14 May 2018 America lags Europe in regulations protecting consumer data, but some companies are starting to wise up. Geoffrey A. Fowler, The Seattle Times, "Lessons from CES: How to make tech gadgets great again," 13 Jan. 2018 There are indications that some academic institutions are beginning to wise up to the dangers. Gina Kolata, New York Times, "Many Academics Are Eager to Publish in Worthless Journals," 30 Oct. 2017 Customers would eventually wise up and stop paying premium prices for GMCs. Mark Phelan, Detroit Free Press, "GMC adds luxury, new looks to buff brand's image and boost sales," 16 Sep. 2017 Still, fans are hopeful that Arya and/or Sansa will wise up to Littlefinger's machinations and turn on him. Kayleigh Roberts, Marie Claire, "All the Fan Theories About 'Game of Thrones' Season 7 Finale Ranked from Least to Most Likely to Come True," 26 Aug. 2017 The Belgian international understands what his new boss wants to implement at Selhurst Park and he's suggested that his teammates need to wise up to what their Dutch manager is demanding from them, according to Daily Star reports. SI.com, "Benteke Pleads With Eagles Teammates to 'Get Used to' New Manager's Tactics," 14 Aug. 2017 Voters need to wise up to the shenanigans being played by their state leaders and the governor, or prepare to open their wallets to pay for this money pit being created by our one-party system. Orange County Register, "State budget needs real balance," 21 Jan. 2017 There are stories of wrestlers who hesitated to wise up their spouses and children, even if that meant faking injuries around the house. Jeremy Gordon, New York Times, "Magazine | Notebook," 27 May 2016

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'wise.' 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 wise

Adjective

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

Verb (1)

1905, in the meaning defined at transitive sense

Noun

before the 12th century, in the meaning defined above

Verb (2)

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

History and Etymology for wise

Adjective

Middle English wis, from Old English wīs; akin to Old High German wīs wise, Old English witan to know — more at wit

Noun

Middle English, from Old English wīse; akin to Old High German wīsa manner, Greek eidos form, idein to see — more at wit

Verb (2)

Middle English, from Old English wīsian; akin to Old Norse vīsa to show the way, Old English wīs wise

Adverb combining form

Middle English, from Old English -wīsan, from wīse manner

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Statistics for wise

Last Updated

12 Jun 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for wise

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

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More Definitions for wise

wise

adjective

English Language Learners Definition of wise

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: having or showing wisdom or knowledge usually from learning or experiencing many things
: based on good reasoning or information : showing good sense or judgment
US, informal : saying things that are rude or insulting

English Language Learners Definition of -wise (Entry 2 of 2)

: in the position or direction of
: in the manner of
informal : with regard to

wise

adjective
\ ˈwīz How to pronounce wise (audio) \
wiser; wisest

Kids Definition of wise

 (Entry 1 of 3)

1 : having or showing good sense or good judgment : sensible a wise woman a wise decision
2 : having knowledge or information I was wise to their trick.
3 : rude or insulting in speech

Other Words from wise

wisely adverb

wise

noun

Kids Definition of wise (Entry 2 of 3)

: manner sense 2, way
Hint: This meaning of wise is used in such phrases as in any wise, in no wise, or in this wise.
\ ˌwīz\

Kids Definition of -wise

1 : in the manner of
2 : in the position or direction of clockwise
3 : with regard to The movie is successful profit-wise.

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More from Merriam-Webster on wise

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with wise

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for wise

Spanish Central: Translation of wise

Nglish: Translation of wise for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of wise for Arabic Speakers

Comments on wise

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