adjective in·tel·li·gent \in-ˈte-lə-jənt\

: having or showing the ability to easily learn or understand things or to deal with new or difficult situations : having or showing a lot of intelligence

: able to learn and understand things

: having an ability to deal with problems or situations that resembles or suggests the ability of an intelligent person

Full Definition of INTELLIGENT

a :  having or indicating a high or satisfactory degree of intelligence and mental capacity
b :  revealing or reflecting good judgment or sound thought :  skillful
a :  possessing intelligence
b :  guided or directed by intellect :  rational
a :  guided or controlled by a computer; especially :  using a built-in microprocessor for automatic operation, for processing of data, or for achieving greater versatility — compare dumb 7
b :  able to produce printed material from digital signals <an intelligent copier>
in·tel·li·gen·tial \-ˌte-lə-ˈjen(t)-shəl\ adjective
in·tel·li·gent·ly \-ˈte-lə-jənt-lē\ adverb


Latin intelligent-, intelligens, present participle of intelligere, intellegere to understand, from inter- + legere to gather, select — more at legend
First Known Use: 1509


alert, brainy, bright, brilliant, clever, exceptional, fast, hyperintelligent, keen, nimble, quick, quick-witted, sharp, sharp-witted, smart, supersmart, ultrasmart
airheaded, birdbrained, boneheaded, brain-dead, brainless, bubbleheaded, chuckleheaded, dense, dim, dim-witted, doltish, dopey (also dopy), dorky [slang], dull, dumb, dunderheaded, empty-headed, fatuous, gormless [chiefly British], half-witted, knuckleheaded, lamebrain (or lamebrained), lunkheaded, mindless, obtuse, opaque, pinheaded, senseless, simple, slow, slow-witted, soft, softheaded, stupid, thick, thickheaded, thick-witted, unbrilliant, unintelligent, unsmart, vacuous, weak-minded, witless

Synonym Discussion of INTELLIGENT

intelligent, clever, alert, quick-witted mean mentally keen or quick. intelligent stresses success in coping with new situations and solving problems <an intelligent person could assemble it fast>. clever implies native ability or aptness and sometimes suggests a lack of more substantial qualities <clever with words>. alert stresses quickness in perceiving and understanding <alert to new technology>. quick-witted implies promptness in finding answers in debate or in devising expedients in moments of danger or challenge <no match for his quick-witted opponent>.
INTELLIGENT Defined for Kids


adjective in·tel·li·gent \in-ˈte-lə-jənt\

Definition of INTELLIGENT for Kids

:  having or showing serious thought and good judgment <an intelligent student> <an intelligent decision>
:  able to learn and understand <Is there intelligent life on other planets?>
in·tel·li·gent·ly adverb

Synonym Discussion of INTELLIGENT

intelligent, clever, and brilliant mean having a good amount of mental ability. intelligent is used of a person who can handle new situations and solve problems. <We need an intelligent person to run the company.> clever is used of a person who learns very quickly. <The clever youngster learned the trick in a few minutes.> brilliant is used of a person whose mental ability is much greater than normal. <A brilliant doctor discovered the cure for that disease.>


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