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intellectual Syllabification: in·tel·lec·tu·al
Pronunciation: /ˌin(t)əˈlek(t)SH(o͞o)əl/

Definition of intellectual in English:


1Of or relating to the intellect: children need intellectual stimulation
More example sentences
  • This global health focus offered academics intellectual stimulation and prestige.
  • Children affected with cerebral palsy generally have basic intellectual ability.
  • We have got to probe her intellectual ability to deal with these issues.
rational, abstract, conceptual, theoretical, analytical, logical;
1.1Appealing to or requiring use of the intellect: the movie wasn’t very intellectual, but it caught the mood of the times
More example sentences
  • Finally, a fabulous essay that requires more intellectual energy to understand than I have today.
  • All of those things require a degree of intellectual effort.
  • This requires hard work, intellectual effort, and the maturity to live with differing points of view.
1.2Possessing a highly developed intellect: you are an intellectual girl, like your mother
More example sentences
  • If Turkey really wants to be European, an intellectual elite that can make itself heard will have to develop.


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A person possessing a highly developed intellect.
Example sentences
  • Yet there is an important distinction between government by the intelligent and by intellectuals.
  • Are intellectuals and scholars always expected to find faults of their own people?
  • This offered a platform for a large number of intellectuals and thinkers urging enlightened progress.
highbrow, learned person, academic, bookworm, man/woman of letters, bluestocking;
informal egghead, Einstein, brains, brainiac, rocket scientist


Pronunciation: /ˌin(t)əˌlek(t)SHo͞oˈalədē/
Example sentences
  • The pair of them make a delightfully balanced couple, his gentle intellectuality counterpoised by her firm practicality.
  • It's about time they added some intellectuality to this show.
  • He is the man proud of the intellectuality of the woman he is with.


Late Middle English: from Latin intellectualis, from intellectus 'understanding', from intellegere 'understand' (see intelligent).

Words that rhyme with intellectual

aspectual, effectual
Definition of intellectual in:
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