- appealing to or engaging the intellect: intellectual pursuits.
- of or relating to the intellect or its use: intellectual powers.
- possessing or showing intellect or mental capacity, especially to a high degree: an intellectual person.
- guided or developed by or relying on the intellect rather than upon emotions or feelings; rational.
- characterized by or suggesting a predominance of intellect: an intellectual way of speaking.
- a person of superior intellect.
- a person who places a high value on or pursues things of interest to the intellect or the more complex forms and fields of knowledge, as aesthetic or philosophical matters, especially on an abstract and general level.
- an extremely rational person; a person who relies on intellect rather than on emotions or feelings.
- a person professionally engaged in mental labor, as a writer or teacher.
- intellectuals, Archaic.
- the mental faculties.
- things pertaining to the intellect.
Origin of intellectual
SynonymsSee more synonyms on Thesaurus.com
Examples from the Web for intellectual
Even the hot Jewish women I mentioned above did something a bit more “intellectual” than pageantry: acting.Why Was Bess Myerson the First and Last Jewish Miss America?
January 7, 2015
However, intellectual honesty is the first thing to go when you are forced to constantly pander to your base.Rush Limbaugh’s Fear of a Black James Bond
December 29, 2014
An IQ below 70 generally indicates someone with intellectual disability (ID).How the U.S. Justice System Screws Prisoners with Disabilities
December 16, 2014
This is not to suggest that Mailer ever lost the intellectual toughness which was central to his work.Mailer’s Letters Pack a Punch and a Surprising Degree of Sweetness
Ronald K. Fried
December 14, 2014
Leaders with political and intellectual responsibilities conjured up those evils, and the results are on their hands.The Media's Pro-Torture Cheerleaders
December 10, 2014
He glories also in the intellectual pre-eminence of his country.
You will see the best-made young fellow in the world, and the most intellectual.The Imaginary Invalid
It is required from you to give proofs of intellectual energy and ability.Tales And Novels, Volume 4 (of 10)
The place was well known to tolerant and intellectual society.The Three Cities Trilogy, Complete
Above this were the four "Intellectual Levels," on one of which I, as a chemist had my abode.City of Endless Night
- of or relating to the intellect, as opposed to the emotions
- appealing to or characteristic of people with a developed intellectintellectual literature
- expressing or enjoying mental activity
- a person who enjoys mental activity and has highly developed tastes in art, literature, etc
- a person who uses or works with his intellect
- a highly intelligent person
Word Origin and History for intellectual
late 14c., "grasped by the understanding" (rather than by the senses), from Old French intellectuel and directly from Latin intellectualis "relating to the understanding," from intellectus "discernment, understanding," from past participle stem of intelligere "to understand, discern" (see intelligence). Intellectual property attested from 1845. Other adjective formations included intellective (late 15c.), intellectile (1670s).
1590s, "mind, intellect," from intellectual (adj.); sense of "an intellectual person" is from 1650s. Related: Intellectuals.
A person who engages in academic study or critical evaluation of ideas and issues. (See intelligentsia.)