• synonyms


[noos, nous]
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  1. Greek Philosophy. mind or intellect.
  2. Neoplatonism. the first and purest emanation of the One, regarded as the self-contemplating order of the universe.
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Origin of nous

1670–80; < Greek noûs, contracted variant of nóos mind
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words


Examples from the Web for nous

Historical Examples

  • "Nous allong—" began Rose, meekly; but she was cut short in her repetition.

    Hildegarde's Holiday

    Laura E. Richards

  • Why, I've been the secret wolf he never had the nous to guess at!

    The La Chance Mine Mystery

    Susan Carleton Jones

  • I cried, as I realised that it was the other end Jack Penny had had the nous to lower at once.

    Bunyip Land

    George Manville Fenn

  • It is needless to say, that now "Nous avons chang tout cela."

  • We find423 connected the terms "nous" and "phronsis," also "anastasis."

British Dictionary definitions for nous


  1. metaphysics mind or reason, esp when regarded as the principle governing all things
  2. British slang common sense; intelligence
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Word Origin

C17: from Greek, literally: mind
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 nous


slang for "intelligence, common sense," 1706, from Greek nous, Attic form of noos "mind, intellect," which was taken in English in philosophy 1670s.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper