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

This year, for example, bears resemblance to 1969 weather-wise, during which the Category 5 Hurricane Camille wreaked havoc on the Gulf coastline. Blair Donovan, Country Living, "AccuWeather's 2019 Hurricane Forecast Predicts as Many as 14 Tropical Storms This Year," 17 Apr. 2019 The decision is strategically wise and morally important. Lindsey Graham, WSJ, "Trump’s Golan Decision Is Moral and Strategic," 25 Mar. 2019 These two are pros at cracking wise — on birthdays, about their children, about each other. Claire Dodson, Teen Vogue, "Blake Lively and Ryan Reynolds's Instagram Trolling: A History," 4 Oct. 2018 Over the phone, the male associate was kind and knowledgeable, chitchatting with me about the collection and its memorable brushstroke motifs, assuring me that my purchase was not only chic, but a wise investment. Janelle Okwodu, Vogue, "Shopping While Black: Why I’m No Longer Afraid to Call Time on Racial Profiling," 29 Aug. 2018 Teenagers today are very wise in the ways of the world. Houston Chronicle, "Teens are kept in the dark about dad’s office affair," 1 July 2018 Ferndale has managed to maintain low parking rates since around 2004 or 2005 through wise investments in technology and professionalizing parking services, according to Assistant City Manager Joseph Gacioch. Bryce Airgood, Detroit Free Press, "Feeding the meter costs 3x more in Royal Oak than Ferndale," 21 June 2018 Each was on an individual journey: Chuck was trying to trap a wise-cracking, cowboy hat-wearing Attorney General (Clancy Brown), and Bobby was trying to rehabilitate the reputation of Axe Capital. refinery29.com, "Billions Season 3 Finale Recap: "The Death Zone"," 11 June 2018 Generous and well-groomed brows don't appear to be going out of style anytime soon, making a good brow booster a wise beauty investment. Macaela Mackenzie, Allure, "This Genius M.A.C. Lash Primer Hack Makes Your Brows Look Way Thicker," 16 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

15 May 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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