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

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. See More
Recent Examples on the Web
Noun
View Recipe What Is Orange Wine, Anyway? Test kitchen wisdom: Orange wine, simply put, is made from white grapes that have been fermented with their skins (like red wine). Inés Anguiano, Bon Appétit, 13 Feb. 2024 The result is a sonic landscape that serves as a platform for timeless wisdom to resonate with a new generation. Mark Elibert, Billboard, 13 Feb. 2024 Playmakers bring a unique approach to the table, recognizing what’s needed when, and who has the requisite talents, wisdom, or position. Nell Derick Debevoise, Forbes, 12 Feb. 2024 And then something is said that reminds you that for all their wisdom, part of them is stuck in the past. Alex Zaragoza, Los Angeles Times, 11 Feb. 2024 Many still question this wisdom for a variety of reasons. Gene Park, Washington Post, 8 Feb. 2024 The wisdom of investing more money in fossil fuel infrastructure is also being debated in Europe, which aims to cut greenhouse gas emissions by 55% compared to 1990 levels by 2030. David McHugh and Matthew Daly, Quartz, 7 Feb. 2024 Carr is among a chorus of researchers who have questioned the wisdom of investing funding and effort into an unproven intervention that, even if successful, likely could not be deployed at scales large enough to curb an opioid crisis that claims more than 100,000 lives each year in the U.S. alone. Jyoti Madhusoodanan, Smithsonian Magazine, 31 Jan. 2024 And some Republican opponents of the border compromise have questioned the wisdom of bothering to consider it in the Senate if their counterparts in the House are determined to block or kill it. Karoun Demirjian, New York Times, 26 Jan. 2024 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'wisdom.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

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 23 Feb. 2024.

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

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