wisdom

1 of 2

noun (1)

wis·​dom ˈwiz-dəm How to pronounce wisdom (audio)
1
a
: ability to discern inner qualities and relationships : insight
b
: good sense : judgment
c
: generally accepted belief
challenges what has become accepted wisdom among many historiansRobert 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

Wisdom

2 of 2

noun (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
Choose the Right Synonym for wisdom

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

Example Sentences

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. See More
Recent Examples on the Web
Noun
Greek history—and Shakespeare, too, for good measure—is replete with examples of how a fear of chaos is often the most effective kind of wisdom. Tunku Varadarajan, WSJ, 13 Jan. 2023 No doubt and these words of wisdom sure hit home at the moment. Bryant Stamford, The Courier-Journal, 6 Jan. 2023 On the Camino, here and there, are random words of wisdom tacked to walls. Eric Searcy, Los Angeles Times, 6 Jan. 2023 With the help of their teachers Jessica Martin and Asherah Weiss, the students recorded bits of advice and words of wisdom for Peptoc, which can be reached by calling (707) 998-8410. Catherine Garcia, The Week, 30 Dec. 2022 Jung defines the unconscious as a vast well of wisdom, not limited to repressed memories. New York Times, 29 Dec. 2022 Phrases that Zoe might have used came to me as possible pieces of wisdom: that my body would know what to do, that with acceptance would come relief. Ayşegül Savaş, The New Yorker, 26 Dec. 2022 Margareta Magnusson is a wonderful storyteller full of wisdom, and this book embodies her attitude of exuberance nicely, even if the advice for aging she imparts feels more familiar than foreign. Courtney Tenz, Washington Post, 22 Dec. 2022 In the new course, now available to MasterClass subscribers, Campbell shares nuggets of wisdom on everything from casting call etiquette to essential items to travel with as a model. André-naquian Wheeler, Vogue, 16 Dec. 2022 See More

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.

Word History

Etymology

Noun (1)

Middle English, from Old English wīsdōm, from wīs wise

First Known Use

Noun (1)

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

Noun (2)

15th century, in the meaning defined above

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

Dictionary Entries Near wisdom

Cite this Entry

“Wisdom.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/wisdom. Accessed 7 Feb. 2023.

Kids Definition

wisdom

1 of 2 noun
wis·​dom ˈwiz-dəm How to pronounce wisdom (audio)
1
a
: learning acquired over a period of time : knowledge
b
: ability to see beneath the surface of things : insight
c
: good sense : judgment
2
: a wise attitude, belief, or course of action

Wisdom

2 of 2 noun
: 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

More from Merriam-Webster on wisdom

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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