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

Origin of intelligentsia

1905–10; <Russian intelligéntsia<Latin intelligentiaintelligence

Words Nearby intelligentsia Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use intelligentsia in a sentence

  • Since 1912 that misguided intelligentsia has been given a large store of fresh ammunition.

  • They will go on firing and firing, while the people, including the real intelligentsia, will be better engaged.

  • As a matter of fact it was the Trentino intelligentsia which looked forward to annexation, and not, as a class, the peasants.

  • The intelligentsia in China has a very peculiar position, unlike that which it has in any other country.

    The Problem of China | Bertrand Russell
  • It is science that makes the difference between our intellectual outlook and that of the Chinese intelligentsia.

    The Problem of China | Bertrand Russell

British Dictionary definitions for intelligentsia


/ (ɪnˌtɛlɪˈdʒɛntsɪə) /

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

Origin of intelligentsia

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

Cultural definitions for intelligentsia


[ (in-tel-uh-jent-see-uh) ]

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

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.