[ in-tl-ekt ]
See synonyms for intellect on
  1. 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.

  2. capacity for thinking and acquiring knowledge, especially of a high or complex order; mental capacity.

  1. a particular mind or intelligence, especially of a high order.

  2. a person possessing a great capacity for thought and knowledge.

  3. minds collectively, as of a number of persons or the persons themselves.

Origin of intellect

1350–1400; Middle English, from Latin intellēctus, equivalent to intelleg(ere) “to understand” + -tus suffix of verbal action; see intelligent

synonym study For intellect

1. See mind.

Other words for intellect

Words Nearby intellect Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2024

How to use intellect in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for intellect


/ (ˈɪntɪˌlɛkt) /

  1. the capacity for understanding, thinking, and reasoning, as distinct from feeling or wishing

  2. a mind or intelligence, esp a brilliant one: his intellect is wasted on that job

  1. informal a person possessing a brilliant mind; brain

  2. those possessing the greatest mental power: the intellect of a nation

Origin of intellect

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

Derived forms of intellect

  • intellective, adjective
  • intellectively, adverb

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