• synonyms


[in-tel-i-jent-see-uh, -gent-]
See more synonyms for intelligentsia on Thesaurus.com
plural noun
  1. intellectuals considered as a group or class, especially as a cultural, social, or political elite.
Show More

Origin of intelligentsia

1905–10; < Russian intelligéntsia < Latin intelligentia intelligence
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words


Examples from the Web for intelligentsia

Contemporary Examples

Historical Examples

  • In this way he saved a great many of the Dalmatian intelligentsia.

  • The intelligentsia rushed to the rescue with highbrow hue and cry.


    Lawton Mackall

  • But the Balkan has no intelligentsia in the Russian or even American sense.

    After the Rain

    Sam Vaknin

  • But the intelligentsia, by 1885, had been pretty well convinced.

    The Antichrist

    F. W. Nietzsche

  • We both belong to what the Russians call the Intelligentsia.

British Dictionary definitions for intelligentsia


  1. the intelligentsia the educated or intellectual people in a society or community
Show More

Word Origin

C20: from Russian intelligentsiya, from Latin intellegentia 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

Word Origin and History for intelligentsia


"the intellectual class collectively," 1905, from Russian intelligyentsia, from Latin intelligentia (see intelligence). Perhaps via Italian intelligenzia.

Show More
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

intelligentsia in Culture



Intellectuals who form an artistic, social, or political vanguard or elite.

Show More
The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.