Definition of wisdom in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˈwɪzdəm/


[mass noun]
1The quality of having experience, knowledge, and good judgement; the quality of being wise: listen to his words of wisdom
More example sentences
  • And a stoic is a person who combines the qualities of wisdom, upright dealing, and courage.
  • For all her power, he felt she lacked wisdom and judgement, and it was past time she learned her place.
  • The authors of these guides have years of inside knowledge, wisdom and practical experience to pass on to you.
1.1The fact of being based on sensible or wise thinking: some questioned the wisdom of building the dam so close to an active volcano
More example sentences
  • If spending on this scale is sensible, its wisdom ought to be demonstrable.
  • It was only months later, when her father suffered a heart attack, that she questioned the rabbis' wisdom.
  • The old woman showed great wisdom in asking the question that she did.
1.2The body of knowledge and experience that develops within a specified society or period: Eastern wisdom
More example sentences
  • The second human characteristic is a widespread tendency to accept conventional wisdoms, be they religious, economic or scientific.
  • Allies need to do more about training good minds who are expert on Asia and who are not afraid of challenging conventional intelligence wisdoms.
  • He said the country was well placed to draw on established moral wisdoms, such as African, Hindu, Islamic, Jewish, Christian and other faiths and securalist views.


in someone's wisdom

Used ironically to suggest that someone’s action is not well judged: in their wisdom they decided to dispense with him
More example sentences
  • Council, in their wisdom, said they needed more information, which was a little frustrating for us.
  • We offered Steven a very lucrative contract but Steven and his advisers have, in their wisdom, decided against it.
  • This morning upon crossing into England I discovered that someone, somewhere in local authority, in their wisdom, had decided that despite the weather forecast grit would not be spread on the roads.


Old English wīsdōm (see wise1, -dom).

For editors and proofreaders

Line breaks: wis¦dom

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