One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
1Wisdom personified. Now rare (historical in later use).
2Chiefly Philosophy. Practical understanding; wisdom, prudence; sound judgement.
Early 16th century; earliest use found in John Skelton (c1460–1529), poet. From classical Latin phronēsis wisdom, in post-classical Latin also wisdom personified from ancient Greek ϕρόνησις thought, sense, judgement, practical wisdom, prudence from ϕρονεῖν to think, to have understanding, to be wise, prudent + -σις.
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