There are 2 main definitions of wise in English:

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wise1

Syllabification: wise
Pronunciation: /wīz
 
/

adjective

1Having or showing experience, knowledge, and good judgment: she seems kind and wise a wise precaution
More example sentences
  • There, with a bit of good advice and wise judgement, you'll eat some of the most fascinating and memorable food you could ever hope to experience at a fraction of the price.
  • Both are now doing the tour of duty around company boardrooms as non-executive directors, lending a bit of experience here and a wise word there.
  • I know because I was 18 and keeping a diary of my experiences, wise thoughts and bad poetry.
Synonyms
1.1Responding sensibly or shrewdly to a particular situation: it would be wise to discuss the matter with the chairman of the committee
More example sentences
  • He added: ‘There are times when a prudent silence is wise.’
  • It was a wise concession to Russian sensibilities.
  • We have to do this in a very smart, wise, sensible way.
1.2 [predicative] Having knowledge in a specified subject: families wise in the way of hurricane survival
More example sentences
  • Is pine conversion economically wise in the long run - the real long run?
  • Be wise in your handling of this precious knowledge; its secrecy is imperative.
  • My friend had worked in ‘the Industry’ and was wise in the ways of Hollywood.
1.3 [predicative] (wise to) informal Alert to or aware of: at seven she was already wise to the police
More example sentences
  • Burglars rarely took stolen gear back to their homes, were wise to police interviewing techniques and rarely left evidence at the scene of their crimes, Mr Blowers said.
  • On April 10, the forestry police finally became wise to the situation and raided the restaurant, arresting the owner and 20 employees.
Synonyms
aware of, familiar with, acquainted with
formal cognizant of

verb

[no object] informal Back to top  
1 (wise off) Make wisecracks: Jake and I would wise off to him
2 (wise up) [often in imperative] Become alert to or aware of something: wise up and sort yourselves out before it’s too late
More example sentences
  • Forever desperate to present his charges as potential world-beaters four years down the line, he should wise up to the fact that moulding them into a team merely tough to beat might be as good as it can get.
  • The public are wising up because if recent past elections are anything to go by apathetic turn outs just keep getting worse.
  • We are wising up to such something-for-nothing marketing schemes which turn out to be the opposite.

Origin

Old English wīs, of Germanic origin; related to Dutch wijs and German weise, also to wit2.

More
  • Both wise and wisdom (Old English) are related to wit, and the three words share an ancient root meaning ‘to know’. The -wise in clockwise (Late Middle English) and lengthwise (late 16th century) means ‘way, manner’, but is ultimately related to the other wise. Of the many proverbs and sayings relating to wisdom, it is easy to be wise after the event originated in the early 17th century, whereas the price of wisdom is above rubies comes from the biblical book of Job. In the USA a wise guy is a person who makes sarcastic or cheeky remarks to show how clever they are. Since the 1970s it has also been a term for a member of the Mafia. See also early, history, ignorance, magic, monkey, word

Phrases

get wise

1
Become alert or aware: the birds get wise and figure out it’s just noise
More example sentences
  • Move it around every day or two, so the birds don't get wise.
  • Following yet another arrest, the authorities got wise to his true identity and fugitive status.
  • I was only certain of one thing: I got wise because I outlived my earlier mistakes.

be wise after the event

2
Understand and assess an event or situation only after its implications have become obvious.
Example sentences
  • Reflecting on the time of my involvement there were some key decisions on player contracts in 1999 that we know now were mistakes, but it's easy to be wise after the event.
  • While it would be easy to be wise after the event, Simon was never a player that any of us would have picked out as a future star, as a player who would go all the way to the top.
  • It is easy to be wise after the event and almost impossible before it

be none (or not any) the wiser

3
Know no more than before.
Example sentences
  • The whole issue gets me totally annoyed and I'm still none the wiser as to what value we get from paying them at all.
  • Both airlines could have simply increased their prices by $6, and most customers would be none the wiser.
  • If I want to ruin the reputation of a B-list celeb I could so with in a couple of days, and their PR agency would be none the wiser until the stories started appearing.

Derivatives

wisely

1
adverb
Example sentences
  • This is real money, money that could be used to build hospitals and schools at home, so it is vital that it is spent wisely.
  • By giving wisely your gifts will go further with a helping hand from the taxman, and can even help you cut your own tax bills.
  • And you will need to be ruthless in analysing whether they are spending their money wisely.

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There are 2 main definitions of wise in English:

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wise2

Syllabification: wise
Pronunciation: /wīz
 
/

noun

archaic
The manner or extent of something: he did it this wise

Origin

Old English wīse, of Germanic origin; related to wit2.

More
  • Both wise and wisdom (Old English) are related to wit, and the three words share an ancient root meaning ‘to know’. The -wise in clockwise (Late Middle English) and lengthwise (late 16th century) means ‘way, manner’, but is ultimately related to the other wise. Of the many proverbs and sayings relating to wisdom, it is easy to be wise after the event originated in the early 17th century, whereas the price of wisdom is above rubies comes from the biblical book of Job. In the USA a wise guy is a person who makes sarcastic or cheeky remarks to show how clever they are. Since the 1970s it has also been a term for a member of the Mafia. See also early, history, ignorance, magic, monkey, word

Phrases

in no wise

1
Not at all.
Example sentences
  • The ‘welcome’ signs, artfully disposed, make it clear that hospitality is merely an allusive flavor; they are in no wise meant to be taken literally.
  • ‘Him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out ‘.
  • Yes, I rule on it and my ruling is that I am in no wise disqualified from hearing the case.

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