Definition of wisdom in English:

wisdom

noun

mass noun
  • 1The quality of having experience, knowledge, and good judgement; the quality of being wise.

    ‘listen to his words of wisdom’
    • ‘The authors of these guides have years of inside knowledge, wisdom and practical experience to pass on to you.’
    • ‘I waited eagerly for words of wisdom from a man at the very pinnacle of his career, I thought he'd be sure to know what to put right.’
    • ‘I tried to listen to his short but heartfelt words of wisdom, but nothing came from it.’
    • ‘Ideally, scholars grow in understanding and wisdom by gaining and sharing knowledge.’
    • ‘For all her power, he felt she lacked wisdom and judgement, and it was past time she learned her place.’
    • ‘I feel like I'm at the stage of converting bitter experience into wisdom.’
    • ‘He thought you might have some pertinent words of wisdom that you could impart upon me to help me deal with my troubles.’
    • ‘So, do you have any word of wisdom, especially to any of the new first years out there?’
    • ‘She was pretty sure that she was the one who gave him the words of wisdom that kept him going.’
    • ‘That way, new readers can enjoy some older posts, and older readers can get reacquainted with my words of wisdom.’
    • ‘Then we grow elderly, and we have the greater experience and wisdom of a lifetime with which to understand.’
    • ‘Just as he was about to deliver his words of wisdom, a team-mate chucked a bucket of water over his head.’
    • ‘It was the voice of a male, speaking with wisdom behind the simple words.’
    • ‘And if you have any words of wisdom, or advice about how to make the coming ordeal any less painful, feel free to let me know.’
    • ‘He is also an accomplished composer and well-used to dispensing words of wisdom.’
    • ‘She still has powerful words of wisdom about the need to find peaceful means to resolve conflict.’
    • ‘And a stoic is a person who combines the qualities of wisdom, upright dealing, and courage.’
    • ‘As if our cheap words and wisdom could somehow rectify the suffering of this world!’
    • ‘They must have a long line for my workshop waiting to hear me impart words of wisdom.’
    • ‘His knowledge, his passion and his wisdom from years of experience were invaluable to our program.’
    sagacity, sageness, intelligence, understanding, insight, perception, perceptiveness, percipience, penetration, perspicuity, acuity, discernment, sense, good sense, common sense, shrewdness, astuteness, acumen, smartness, judiciousness, judgement, foresight, clear-sightedness, prudence, circumspection
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    1. 1.1 The fact of being based on sensible or wise thinking.
      ‘some questioned the wisdom of building the dam so close to an active volcano’
      • ‘If you downgrade the source of your wisdom, you downgrade the value of the wisdom.’
      • ‘The utilitarian wisdom that which benefits the greater number is what is good holds true in this regard.’
      • ‘He took his wisdom to consist in the fact that he knows that he does not know.’
      • ‘Some economists have questioned the wisdom of such a large investment, the BBC said.’
      • ‘Some of the stories suitably blend the wisdom of the proverbs and the story line.’
      • ‘This has led some commentators to question the wisdom of having the majority of a fund's money invested in equities.’
      • ‘Nobody questions the wisdom behind the decision to set up the commission.’
      • ‘It is for this reason that commentators question the wisdom of the deal.’
      • ‘The old woman showed great wisdom in asking the question that she did.’
      • ‘Some may question the wisdom of arranging a first date at an unfamiliar restaurant.’
      • ‘Again, your Honour, it is a question of the courts deferring to the wisdom of the legislature.’
      • ‘When sick I want to be cared for by doctors who every day doubt the value and wisdom of what they do and this book will help make such doctors.’
      • ‘But some critics have questioned the wisdom of a costly project that could go horribly over budget.’
      • ‘Others, however, question the wisdom of such a decision and argue that it seems an expensive way to boost circulation.’
      • ‘If spending on this scale is sensible, its wisdom ought to be demonstrable.’
      • ‘It was about then that I questioned the wisdom of skipping supper before coming out.’
      • ‘I question the wisdom of the leaders on both sides who have caused this polarisation.’
      • ‘In the wake of such a tragedy, some may even question the wisdom of trying to rebuild the city at all.’
      • ‘It was only months later, when her father suffered a heart attack, that she questioned the rabbis' wisdom.’
      • ‘This goes against the technical wisdom of classifying markets by value of free floating stocks alone.’
      sagacity, sageness, intelligence, understanding, insight, perception, perceptiveness, percipience, penetration, perspicuity, acuity, discernment, sense, good sense, common sense, shrewdness, astuteness, acumen, smartness, judiciousness, judgement, foresight, clear-sightedness, prudence, circumspection
      View synonyms
    2. 1.2 The body of knowledge and experience that develops within a specified society or period.
      ‘Eastern wisdom’
      • ‘In fact everyone must eventually be involved to integrate these wisdoms into our community.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Eventually, Blavatsky brought the spiritual wisdoms of the East and of ancient Western mysteries to the modern West, where they were virtually unknown.’
      knowledge, learning, erudition, scholarship, philosophy
      View synonyms

Phrases

  • 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’
      • ‘Council, in their wisdom, said they needed more information, which was a little frustrating for us.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘We offered Steven a very lucrative contract but Steven and his advisers have, in their wisdom, decided against it.’
      • ‘To my mind, the ultimate responsibility lies with the various planning committees, which have, in their wisdom, or ignorance, over the years, allowed the new buildings to be built at ground level.’
      • ‘Yes, in their wisdom, rather than spend a little money to fix the holes in their device, they're spending a lot of money to hunt down their critics and sue them.’

Origin

Old English wīsdōm (see wise, -dom).

Pronunciation

wisdom

/ˈwɪzdəm/