Definition of intellect in English:

intellect

noun

  • 1[mass noun] The faculty of reasoning and understanding objectively, especially with regard to abstract matters:

    ‘he was a man of action rather than of intellect’
    • ‘First it is a denial of the power of the human intellect to reason out understanding.’
    • ‘Discussion on how exactly this intellect is to be understood started very early.’
    • ‘This, combined with my complete lack of intellect, is the reason why I'm never seen reading in public.’
    • ‘Character, intellect, wisdom count for nothing, only the physical matters.’
    • ‘I do not feel obliged to believe that the same God who has endowed us with senses, reason and intellect has intended us to forgo their use.’
    • ‘Science is about intellect, reason and rationality, and art is about spirit, emotions, passion.’
    • ‘This is associated with intellect, reason and truth.’
    • ‘It is a matter of intellect, thought, indirect leadership, advice, and consensus-building.’
    • ‘But, we all have the potential to allow our genetic tribalistic instincts to overcome reason and intellect.’
    • ‘‘When I was young, I paid more regard to intellect than judgment,’ he once said.’
    • ‘Nevertheless, he was a man of fine physical presence and good though rather superficial intellect.’
    • ‘It reflects our own intellect rather than an absolute and non-human mind.’
    • ‘There's a real interplay between intellect and reason in the arts, but so much depends on that instinct.’
    • ‘Learn to reason with your intellect and not be led by your fascination for thrills and the unknown.’
    • ‘This superiority man owes to reason and intellect.’
    • ‘There are times when we are at our best when we use our intellect and our reason.’
    • ‘We may understand something with our intellect, yet it may not have filtered down into our hearts and bones and muscles.’
    • ‘Is that definition of intellect objectively ‘better’ than a televisual based one?’
    • ‘It seems to me that some people from London (not the South in general) think that they are somehow superior in intellect and reason than us up North.’
    • ‘Man, by reason of his intellect, is capable of greatest evil.’
    mind, brain, brains, head, intelligence, reason, understanding, comprehension, thought, brainpower, sense, judgement, wisdom, wits
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    1. 1.1[count noun] A person's mental powers:
      ‘her keen intellect’
      • ‘It is not always an easy job but there is a great fulfilment and job satisfaction in introducing young people to the pleasures of reading and in seeing their intellects and imaginations develop.’
      • ‘In interviews done in the contender's homes, we are introduced to these oddball children and their overactive imaginations and enormous intellects.’
      • ‘It helps sharpen the intellect and mental functioning.’
      • ‘From the beginning Flanagan demonstrated a keen intellect, first displayed by the rapidity with which he picked up basic literacy.’
      • ‘It combines the combustible power of a keen intellect with powerful conviction and ethical courage.’
      • ‘The new leader will have to display strength of character, sturdiness of will, a keen intellect, a sense of humour and an ability to relate to the people of Scotland.’
      • ‘He was also a man with a keen intellect and strong views that he was never afraid to articulate trenchantly.’
      • ‘Gather those of our ranks with the keenest intellects and set them into the design and construction of such things.’
      • ‘The combination of a keen intellect and an emotionally stunted childhood gave rise to a man who eschewed social intimacy yet felt the need to control those around him.’
      • ‘But what about the students with keen intellects and a thirst for knowledge who have severe dyslexia?’
      • ‘Her unnerving clarity and audacious style reveal an intellect and imagination capable of a major work.’
      • ‘Her understanding and intellect could never compete with his own, especially on a topic as familiar to him as this one.’
      • ‘Unification of mind and body, as explorers use their intellects, senses, imaginations, spirits, emotions and bodies.’
      • ‘As much as I admire their enduring contributions to psychology and their intellects, I admire them even more for the quality of their characters.’
      • ‘A keen intellect and uncompromising nature set him apart.’
      • ‘He is a pioneer with an astute intellect and has a quick wit.’
      • ‘Foolish as he can be, the boy's keen intellect and powers of observation surprise him.’
      • ‘With his incredible intellect he understood it without a single repeat.’
      • ‘A keen intellect, a warm heart and an undying interest in people and places made him a source of joy to all who knew him.’
      • ‘You have a genius intellect and an awesome sense of humor.’
      brain, intelligence, intellectual capabilities, mental capacity, brains, brainpower, wits, wit, powers of reasoning, powers of comprehension, powers of thought, understanding, reasoning, judgement, sense, mentality, perception
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    2. 1.2[count noun] A clever person:
      ‘sapping our country of some of its brightest intellects’
      • ‘This is a highly recommended collection from a highly regarded intellect and one that will not disappoint.’
      • ‘Perhaps for that reason, Cameron was not known as a great intellect.’
      • ‘Most universities operate in the world of the intellect: the person with the best idea is the brightest.’
      • ‘We need keen intellects and educated minds to weigh decisions that could mean life or death to millions and dictate the unforeseeable future.’
      • ‘Such an approach will only work for true intellects - scientists with unique philosophy and vision.’
      • ‘All intellects will agree an individual has no power.’
      • ‘He was an intellect and he was a writer and he understood theatre and how a play is constructed and he brought all of those talents to bear as well.’
      • ‘His abilities are great, surpassing even our most renowned intellects in the ways of electropsionics and magnopsionics.’
      • ‘Bill Clinton is often described as one of the keenest political intellects of the age.’
      • ‘But I knew that he enjoyed the reputation as one of the keenest intellects and best Supreme Court advocates in the highly competitive Washington legal market.’
      • ‘The Spanish Scholastics remain profoundly admired by Catholics as the great intellects they were.’
      • ‘Though not a Roman Catholic, he had been made a member of the Papal Academy as one of the outstanding intellects of the age.’
      • ‘Therefore, many scholars and latter day thinkers and intellects disagreed with him on a variety of issues.’
      • ‘The intent is to get them off the benefit, which is not understood by the intellects on the other side of the House.’
      • ‘To the world, he was one of the brightest intellects of a very great intellectual era.’
      • ‘But he is not, in fact, a savage intellect doling out ironic, icy wit all around him.’
      • ‘A formidable intellect, a compassionate man of integrity and a scholar of the law, he already is a terrific judge.’
      thinker, intellectual, bluestocking, academic, scholar, sage
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Origin

Late Middle English: from Latin intellectus understanding, from intellegere understand (see intelligent).

Pronunciation

intellect

/ˈɪntəlɛkt/