Share this entry
intelligentsia Syllabification: in·tel·li·gent·si·a
Pronunciation: /inˌteləˈjen(t)sēə/

Definition of intelligentsia in English:


(usually the intelligentsia) [treated as singular or plural]
Intellectuals or highly educated people as a group, especially when regarded as possessing culture and political influence.
Example sentences
  • They were followed by the intelligentsia and cultural élites.
  • Only political leaders and the intelligentsia in the Arab countries were interviewed.
  • A disproportionately high number of signatories belonged to the intelligentsia or the officer corps.
intellectuals, intelligent people, academics, scholars, literati, cognoscenti, illuminati, highbrows, thinkers, brains;
informal eggheads


Early 20th century: from Russian intelligentsiya, from Polish inteligencja, from Latin intelligentia (see intelligence).

Definition of intelligentsia in:
Share this entry

What do you find interesting about this word or phrase?

Comments that don't adhere to our Community Guidelines may be moderated or removed.

Subscribe to remove ads and access premium resources