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[wiz-duh m] /ˈwɪz dəm/
the quality or state of being wise; knowledge of what is true or right coupled with just judgment as to action; sagacity, discernment, or insight.
scholarly knowledge or learning:
the wisdom of the schools.
wise sayings or teachings; precepts.
a wise act or saying.
(initial capital letter) Douay Bible. Wisdom of Solomon.
Origin of wisdom
before 900; Middle English, Old English wīsdōm; cognate with Old Norse vīsdōmr, German Weistum. See wise1, -dom
Related forms
wisdomless, adjective
1. sense, understanding. 2. sapience, erudition, enlightenment. See information.
1. stupidity. 2. ignorance. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2016.
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Examples from the Web for wisdom
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • wisdom exalteth her sons, and taketh hold of them that seek her.

  • Tell Miss Norman of my offer, and make her see the wisdom of accepting it.

    The Opal Serpent Fergus Hume
  • Surely this seeming folly had been the power of God, and the wisdom of God.

    The Chautauqua Girls At Home Pansy, AKA Isabella M. Alden
  • We are led by suggestion and association to believe that there must be wisdom and utility in what all do.

    Folkways William Graham Sumner
  • wisdom that is hid and treasure that is hoarded, what profit is there in both?

    A Thousand Years of Jewish History Maurice H. (Maurice Henry) Harris
British Dictionary definitions for wisdom


the ability or result of an ability to think and act utilizing knowledge, experience, understanding, common sense, and insight
accumulated knowledge, erudition, or enlightenment
(archaic) a wise saying or wise sayings or teachings
(obsolete) soundness of mind
adjective sagacious
Word Origin
Old English wīsdōm; see wise1, -dom
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 wisdom

Old English wisdom, from wis (see wise (adj.)) + -dom. A common Germanic compound (cf. Old Saxon, Old Frisian wisdom, Old Norse visdomr, Old High German wistuom "wisdom," German Weistum "judicial sentence serving as a precedent"). Wisdom teeth so called from 1848 (earlier teeth of wisdom, 1660s), a loan-translation of Latin dentes sapientiae, itself a loan-translation of Greek sophronisteres (used by Hippocrates, from sophron "prudent, self-controlled"), so called because they usually appear ages 17-25, when a person reaches adulthood.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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