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  1. a profoundly wise person; a person famed for wisdom.
  2. someone venerated for the possession of wisdom, judgment, and experience.
adjective, sag·er, sag·est.
  1. wise, judicious, or prudent: sage advice.

Origin of sage1

1250–1300; Middle English (noun and adj.) < Old French < Late Latin sapidus wise, tasteful (Latin: tasty), equivalent to sap(ere) to know, be wise, orig. to taste (see sapient) + -idus -id4
Related formssage·ly, adverbsage·ness, noun


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1. philosopher. 3. sagacious.


1. fool.


  1. any plant or shrub belonging to the genus Salvia, of the mint family.
  2. an herb, Salvia officinalis, whose grayish-green leaves are used in medicine and for seasoning in cookery.
  3. the leaves themselves.
  4. sagebrush.

Origin of sage2

1275–1325; Middle English sa(u)ge < Middle French sau(l)ge < Latin salvia, derivative of salvus safe (so named from its supposed healing powers)


  1. Russell,1816–1906, U.S. financier.

Le Sage

or Le·sage

[luh sazh]
  1. A·lain Re·né [a-lan ruh-ney] /aˈlɛ̃ rəˈneɪ/, 1668–1747, French novelist and dramatist.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for sage

Contemporary Examples

Historical Examples

  • "I am satisfied with the pursuit of wisdom, not with the fame of it," replied the sage.


    Lydia Maria Child

  • You may think that your sage counsels restrained her, but they did not; it was that she loved some one else.


    Thomas Wentworth Higginson

  • He was still chuckling when he spoke, sage from much experience of ocean travel.

    Within the Law

    Marvin Dana

  • Why in this world are you talking about stones and sage and greasewood?

    Her Father's Daughter

    Gene Stratton-Porter

  • She seemed born, not only to captivate the giddy, but to turn the heads of the sage.

British Dictionary definitions for sage


  1. a man revered for his profound wisdom
  1. profoundly wise or prudent
  2. obsolete solemn
Derived Formssagely, adverbsageness, noun

Word Origin

C13: from Old French, from Latin sapere to be sensible; see sapient


  1. a perennial Mediterranean plant, Salvia officinalis, having grey-green leaves and purple, blue, or white flowers: family Lamiaceae (labiates)
  2. the leaves of this plant, used in cooking for flavouring
  3. short for sagebrush

Word Origin

C14: from Old French saulge, from Latin salvia, from salvus safe, in good health (from the curative properties attributed to the plant)

Le Sage


  1. Alain-René (alɛ̃rəne). 1668–1747, French novelist and dramatist, author of the picaresque novel Gil Blas (1715–35)
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

Word Origin and History for sage


"wise," c.1300 (late 12c. as a surname), from Old French sage "wise, knowledgeable, learned; shrewd, skillful" (11c.), from Gallo-Romance *sabius, from Vulgar Latin *sapius, from Latin sapere "have a taste, have good taste, be wise," from PIE root *sap- "to taste" (see sap (n.1)). Meaning "characterized by wisdom" is from 1530s. Related: Sageness.


kind of herb (Salvia officinalis), early 14c., from Old French sauge (13c.), from Latin salvia, from salvus "healthy" (see safe (adj.)). So called for its healing or preserving qualities (it was used to keep teeth clean and relieve sore gums, and boiled in water to make a drink to alleviate arthritis). In English folklore, sage, like parsley, is said to grow best where the wife is dominant. In late Old English as salvie, directly from Latin. Cf. German Salbei, also from Latin.


"man of profound wisdom," mid-14c., from sage (adj.). Originally applied to the Seven Sages -- Thales, Solon, Periander, Cleobulus, Chilon, Bias, and Pittacus.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper