[ in-tel-i-juhnt ]
See synonyms for: intelligentintelligently on

  1. having good understanding or a high mental capacity; quick to comprehend, as persons or animals: an intelligent student.

  2. displaying or characterized by quickness of understanding, sound thought, or good judgment: an intelligent reply.

  1. having the faculty of reasoning and understanding; possessing intelligence: intelligent beings in outer space.

  2. Computers. pertaining to the ability to do data processing locally; smart: An intelligent terminal can edit input before transmission to a host computer.: Compare dumb (def. 8).

  3. Archaic. having understanding or knowledge (usually followed by of).

Origin of intelligent

First recorded in 1500–10; from Latin intelligent- (stem of intelligēns, present participle of intelligere, variant of intellegere “to understand,” literally, “choose between),” equivalent to intel- (variant of inter- inter-) + -lig- (combining form of leg-, stem of legere “to pick up, choose”; cf. lection) + -ent- -ent

synonym study For intelligent

1. Intelligent, intellectual describe distinctive mental capacity. Intelligent often suggests a natural quickness of understanding: an intelligent reader. Intellectual implies not only having a high degree of understanding, but also a capacity and taste for the higher forms of knowledge: intellectual interests. 2. See sharp.

Other words for intelligent

Opposites for intelligent

Other words from intelligent

  • in·tel·li·gent·ly, adverb
  • hy·per·in·tel·li·gent, adjective
  • hy·per·in·tel·li·gent·ly, adverb
  • non·in·tel·li·gent, adjective
  • non·in·tel·li·gent·ly, adverb
  • pre·in·tel·li·gent, adjective
  • pre·in·tel·li·gent·ly, adverb
  • qua·si-in·tel·li·gent, adjective
  • qua·si-in·tel·li·gent·ly, adverb
  • sem·i-in·tel·li·gent, adjective
  • sem·i-in·tel·li·gent·ly, adverb
  • su·per·in·tel·li·gent, adjective

Words that may be confused with intelligent

  • intelligent , intellectual (see synonym study at the current entry) Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2024

How to use intelligent in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for intelligent


/ (ɪnˈtɛlɪdʒənt) /

  1. having or indicating intelligence

  2. having high intelligence; clever

  1. indicating high intelligence; perceptive: an intelligent guess

  2. guided by reason; rational

  3. (of computerized functions) able to modify action in the light of ongoing events

  4. (postpositive foll by of) archaic having knowledge or information: they were intelligent of his whereabouts

Derived forms of intelligent

  • intelligently, 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