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 The owl, associated with Athena, goddess of wisdom, is the key motif that picks the narrative’s locks. BostonGlobe.com, 23 Sep. 2021 Their new startup, called FindCenter, seeks to centralize resources for fighting burnout or seemingly any other personal affliction, as a kind of Wikipedia for wisdom, as Goldman describes it. Anne Quito, Quartz, 22 Sep. 2021 In the past 40 years, an edifice of economic wisdom and policy analysis has sprung up demonstrating how carbon taxes can decarbonize the energy system. Robinson Meyer, The Atlantic, 24 Aug. 2021 The results are astonishing, and Robin transforms from a struggling, depressive, and too often rageful child into a youth of prodigious wisdom and articulacy. Claire Messud, Harper's Magazine, 17 Aug. 2021 My mosôm was a great man, everyone went to him for wisdom. Michelle Chubb, refinery29.com, 13 Aug. 2021 The amount of down home wisdom and folksy innuendo that Parton packs into the 1 minute and 17 second video is remarkable. Charu Sinha, Vulture, 21 July 2021 She has been reunited with her guitar and pen and assembled a new band to help her record a charming EP filled with both wisdom and sass. Star Tribune, 16 July 2021 As the new face of the Silk Team Protein initiative, Lewis not only has plans to help HBCU athletes but also to instill in this next generation wisdom and knowledge. Shelby Stewart, Chron, 8 July 2021

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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Time Traveler for wisdom

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for wisdom

Last Updated

7 Oct 2021

Cite this Entry

“Wisdom.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/wisdom. Accessed 18 Oct. 2021.

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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

More from Merriam-Webster on wisdom

Nglish: Translation of wisdom for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of wisdom for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about wisdom


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