wise man

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See also: wiseman

English[edit]

Alternative forms[edit]

Etymology[edit]

From wise + man.

Pronunciation[edit]

Noun[edit]

wise man ‎(plural wise men)

  1. A man who is wise.
    • 1603, John Florio, translating Michel de Montaigne, Essayes, London: Edward Blount, OCLC 946730821, II.3:
      That is the reason, why some say, that the wiseman liveth as long as he ought, and not so long as he can.
    • 1635, John Donne, The Triple Foole:
      But where's that wiseman, that would not be I, / If she would not deny?
    • 2005, "A wise man in Washington", The Economist, 14 Dec.:
      Mr Lieberman is arguably the last surviving example of a peculiar Washington species: the Wise Man who is willing to put party allegiance aside when it comes to big issues such as foreign policy.
  2. A man who is a sage or seer.
    • 1989, Keith Bosley, translating Elias Lönnrot, The Kalevala, III:
      Steady old Väinämöinen / the everlasting wise man [transl. tietäjä] / was driving along his roads / pacing out his ways / in those glades of Väinö-land / on the Kalevala heaths.
  3. A magus or wizard, now especially one of the three biblical magi.
    • 1971, Keith Thomas, Religion and the Decline of Magic, Folio Society 2012, p.174:
      Some of the other charms employed by the wise men had a more tangled pedigree.

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