- having the power of discerning and judging properly as to what is true or right; possessing discernment, judgment, or discretion.
- characterized by or showing such power; judicious or prudent: a wise decision.
- possessed of or characterized by scholarly knowledge or learning; learned; erudite: wise in the law.
- having knowledge or information as to facts, circumstances, etc.: We are wiser for their explanations.
- Slang. informed; in the know: You're wise, so why not give us the low-down?
- Archaic. having knowledge of magic or witchcraft.
- Slang. to make wise or aware: I'll wise you, kid.
- wise up, Slang. to make or become aware of a secret or generally unknown fact, situation, attitude, etc.: They wised him up on how to please the boss. She never wised up to the fact that the joke was on her.
- be/get wise to, Slang. to be or become cognizant of or no longer deceived by; catch on: to get wise to a fraud.
- get wise, Slang.
- to become informed.
- to be or become presumptuous or impertinent: Don't get wise with me, young man!
- put/set someone wise, Slang. to inform a person; let a person in on a secret or generally unknown fact: Some of the others put him wise to what was going on.
Origin of wise1
SynonymsSee more synonyms on Thesaurus.com
- possessing, showing, or prompted by wisdom or discernment
- prudent; sensible
- shrewd; craftya wise plan
- well-informed; erudite
- aware, informed, or knowing (esp in the phrase none the wiser)
- slang (postpositive often foll by to) in the know, esp possessing inside information (about)
- archaic possessing powers of magic
- slang, mainly US and Canadian cocksure or insolent
- be wise or get wise (often foll by to) informal to be or become aware or informed (of something) or to face up (to facts)
- put wise (often foll by to) slang to inform or warn (of)
- See wise up
- archaic way, manner, fashion, or respect (esp in the phrases any wise, in no wise)
Word Origin and History for get wise to
Old English wis, from Proto-Germanic *wisaz (cf. Old Saxon, Old Frisian wis, Old Norse viss, Dutch wijs, German weise "wise"), from past participle adjective *wittos of PIE root *weid- "to see," hence "to know" (see vision). Slang meaning "aware, cunning" first attested 1896. Related to the source of Old English witan "to know, wit."
A wise man has no extensive knowledge; He who has extensive knowledge is not a wise man. [Lao-tzu, "Tao te Ching," c.550 B.C.E.]
Wise guy is attested from 1896, American English. Wisenheimer, with mock German or Yiddish surname suffix, first recorded 1904.
"way of proceeding, manner," Old English wise, ultimately from the same source as wise (adj.). Cf. Old Saxon wisa, Old Frisian wis, Danish vis, Middle Dutch wise, Dutch wijs, Old High German wisa, German Weise "way, manner." Most common in English now as a suffix (e.g. likewise). For sense evolution from "to see" to "way of proceeding," cf. cognate Greek eidos "form, shape, kind," also "course of action." Ground sense is "to see/know the way."
Idioms and Phrases with get wise to
get wise to
Also be wise to. See through the deception of; also, become aware of. For example, It took a while, but she finally got wise to Fred's lies, or I'm wise to the fact that her clothes come from a thrift shop. [Colloquial; mid-1800s]