[ in-tl-ekt ]
/ ˈɪn tlˌɛkt /


the power or faculty of the mind by which one knows or understands, as distinguished from that by which one feels and that by which one wills; the understanding; the faculty of thinking and acquiring knowledge.
capacity for thinking and acquiring knowledge, especially of a high or complex order; mental capacity.
a particular mind or intelligence, especially of a high order.
a person possessing a great capacity for thought and knowledge.
minds collectively, as of a number of persons or the persons themselves.

Origin of intellect

1350–1400; Middle English < Latin intellēctus, equivalent to intelleg(ere) to understand + -tus suffix of v. action; see intelligent Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2020

Examples from the Web for intellect

British Dictionary definitions for intellect

/ (ˈɪntɪˌlɛkt) /


the capacity for understanding, thinking, and reasoning, as distinct from feeling or wishing
a mind or intelligence, esp a brilliant onehis intellect is wasted on that job
informal a person possessing a brilliant mind; brain
those possessing the greatest mental powerthe intellect of a nation

Derived forms of intellect

intellective, adjectiveintellectively, adverb

Word Origin for intellect

C14: from Latin intellectus comprehension, intellect, from intellegere to understand; see intelligence
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