[an-tee-in-tl-ek-choo-uh l, an-tahy‐]


a person opposed to or hostile toward intellectuals and the modern academic, artistic, social, religious, and other theories associated with them.
a person who believes that intellect and reason are less important than actions and emotions in solving practical problems and understanding reality.


of, relating to, or characteristic of anti-intellectuals or their beliefs.

Also an·ti-in·tel·lec·tu·al·ist.

Origin of anti-intellectual

First recorded in 1935–40
Related formsan·ti-in·tel·lec·tu·al·ism, nounan·ti-in·tel·lec·tu·al·is·tic, adjectivean·ti-in·tel·lec·tu·al·i·ty, noun Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for anti-intellectual

Contemporary Examples of anti-intellectual

  • What possible change can any one citizen instigate against that barrage of anti-intellectual, gun-toting paranoia?

  • But anarchism is a logical outgrowth of the anti-intellectual side of collectivism.

    The Daily Beast logo
    Objectivists Shrugged

    Noah Kristula-Green

    June 27, 2012

  • But if Reagan burnished the anti-intellectual brand, Bush has now wrecked it.

    The Daily Beast logo
    Revenge of the Nerds

    Peter Beinart

    December 8, 2008

  • But it was under Ronald Reagan that the anti-intellectual era in American politics truly began.

    The Daily Beast logo
    Revenge of the Nerds

    Peter Beinart

    December 8, 2008

Historical Examples of anti-intellectual

Word Origin and History for anti-intellectual

1821 (adj.), from anti- + intellectual. As a noun meaning "an anti-intellectual person" from 1913.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper