• synonyms


  1. (in Greek philosophy) the exercise of reason.
  2. Psychology. cognition; the functioning of the intellect.
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Origin of noesis

1880–85; < Greek nóēsis thought, intelligence, equivalent to noē- (variant stem of noeîn to think) + -sis -sis
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

British Dictionary definitions for noesis


  1. philosophy the exercise of reason, esp in the apprehension of universal formsCompare dianoia
  2. psychol the mental process used in thinking and perceiving; the functioning of the intellectSee also cognition
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Word Origin

C19: from Greek noēsis thought, from noein to think
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 noesis


1820, from Greek noesis "intelligence, thought," from noein "to have mental perception," from noos "mind, thought."

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper