Synonyms & Antonyms of wise

2 having inside information
  • they fooled everyone else, but I'd heard them talking and was wise to their true intentions

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3 suitable for bringing about a desired result under the circumstances
  • selling the stock just before it plunged in value was a wise move on your part

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4 making light of something usually regarded as serious or sacred
  • you wouldn't be so wise if you were the one suffering from hemorrhoids

Synonyms for wise

Words Related to wise

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Antonyms for wise

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Frequently Asked Questions About wise

How is the word wise distinct from other similar adjectives?

Some common synonyms of wise are judicious, prudent, sage, sane, sapient, and sensible. While all these words 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

Where would judicious be a reasonable alternative to wise?

In some situations, the words judicious and wise are roughly equivalent. However, judicious stresses a capacity for reaching wise decisions or just conclusions.

judicious parents using kindness and discipline in equal measure

When can prudent be used instead of wise?

The synonyms prudent and wise are sometimes interchangeable, but prudent suggests the exercise of restraint guided by sound practical wisdom and discretion.

a prudent decision to wait out the storm

When is sage a more appropriate choice than wise?

While in some cases nearly identical to wise, sage suggests wide experience, great learning, and wisdom.

the sage advice of my father

When is it sensible to use sane instead of wise?

The meanings of sane and wise largely overlap; however, sane stresses mental soundness, rationality, and levelheadedness.

remained sane even in times of crises

In what contexts can sapient take the place of wise?

The words sapient and wise are synonyms, but do differ in nuance. Specifically, sapient suggests great sagacity and discernment.

the sapient musings of an old philosopher

When could sensible be used to replace wise?

The words sensible and wise can be used in similar contexts, but sensible applies to action guided and restrained by good sense and rationality.

a sensible woman who was not fooled by flattery

Learn More About wise

Time Traveler for wise

Time Traveler

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

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Cite this Entry

“Wise.” Thesaurus, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 19 May. 2022.

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More from Merriam-Webster on wise

Nglish: Translation of wise for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of wise for Arabic Speakers


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