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[in-tel-i-jent-see-uh, -gent-] /ɪnˌtɛl ɪˈdʒɛnt si ə, -ˈgɛnt-/
plural noun
intellectuals considered as a group or class, especially as a cultural, social, or political elite.
Origin of intelligentsia
1905-10; < Russian intelligéntsia < Latin intelligentia intelligence Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for intelligentsia
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • In this way he saved a great many of the Dalmatian intelligentsia.

  • The intelligentsia rushed to the rescue with highbrow hue and cry.

    Bizarre Lawton Mackall
  • But the Balkan has no intelligentsia in the Russian or even American sense.

    After the Rain Sam Vaknin
  • But the intelligentsia, by 1885, had been pretty well convinced.

    The Antichrist F. W. Nietzsche
  • We both belong to what the Russians call the intelligentsia.

British Dictionary definitions for intelligentsia


the intelligentsia, the educated or intellectual people in a society or community
Word Origin
C20: from Russian intelligentsiya, from Latin intellegentiaintelligence
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for intelligentsia

"the intellectual class collectively," 1905, from Russian intelligyentsia, from Latin intelligentia (see intelligence). Perhaps via Italian intelligenzia.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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intelligentsia in Culture
intelligentsia [(in-tel-uh-jent-see-uh)]

Intellectuals who form an artistic, social, or political vanguard or elite.

The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
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