intellectual

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English[edit]

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Part or all of this entry has been imported from the 1913 edition of Webster’s Dictionary, which is now free of copyright and hence in the public domain. The imported definitions may be significantly out of date, and any more recent senses may be completely missing.

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Etymology[edit]

From Old French intellectuel, from Latin intellectualis

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Adjective[edit]

intellectual (comparative more intellectual, superlative most intellectual)

  1. Belonging to, or performed by, the intellect; mental or cognitive; as, intellectual powers, activities, etc.
  2. Endowed with intellect; having the power of understanding; having capacity for the higher forms of knowledge or thought; characterized by intelligence or mental capacity; as, an intellectual person.
  3. Suitable for exercising the intellect; formed by, and existing for, the intellect alone; perceived by the intellect; as, intellectual employments.
  4. Relating to the understanding; treating of the mind; as, intellectual philosophy, sometimes called "mental" philosophy.
  5. (archaic, poetic) Spiritual.
    • 1805, William Wordsworth, The Prelude, Book II, lines 331-334 (eds. Jonathan Wordsworth, M. H. Abrams, & Stephen Gill, published by W. W. Norton & Company, 1979):
      I deem not profitless those fleeting moods / Of shadowy exultation; not for this, / That they are kindred to our purer mind / And intellectual life ...

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Noun[edit]

intellectual (plural intellectuals)

  1. An intelligent, learned person, especially one who discourses about learned matters.
  2. (archaic) The intellect or understanding; mental powers or faculties.

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