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[wiz-duh m] /ˈwɪz dəm/
the quality or state of being wise; knowledge of what is true or right coupled with just judgment as to action; sagacity, discernment, or insight.
scholarly knowledge or learning:
the wisdom of the schools.
wise sayings or teachings; precepts.
a wise act or saying.
(initial capital letter) Douay Bible. Wisdom of Solomon.
Origin of wisdom
before 900; Middle English, Old English wīsdōm; cognate with Old Norse vīsdōmr, German Weistum. See wise1, -dom
Related forms
wisdomless, adjective
1. sense, understanding. 2. sapience, erudition, enlightenment. See information.
1. stupidity. 2. ignorance. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for wisdom
  • We also need to ask why the common wisdom seems to be the opposite.
  • The conventional wisdom that prevailed until recently made a lot more sense.
  • We cannot reach any agreed wisdom by reducing these writers to their lowest common denominator.
  • There is in wildness a natural wisdom that shapes all earth's experiments with life.
  • Conventional wisdom says the universe is infinite.
  • Our present intellectual superiority is no guarantee of great wisdom or survival power in our genes.
  • Conventional wisdom says such discoveries should not be happening now.
  • Much wisdom about the ageing brain has recently been overturned.
  • We all need to understand some things that are true and basic for our survival and our development of wisdom.
  • He said that there had been times when he had questioned the wisdom of his efforts.
British Dictionary definitions for wisdom


the ability or result of an ability to think and act utilizing knowledge, experience, understanding, common sense, and insight
accumulated knowledge, erudition, or enlightenment
(archaic) a wise saying or wise sayings or teachings
(obsolete) soundness of mind
adjective sagacious
Word Origin
Old English wīsdōm; see wise1, -dom
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for wisdom

Old English wisdom, from wis (see wise (adj.)) + -dom. A common Germanic compound (cf. Old Saxon, Old Frisian wisdom, Old Norse visdomr, Old High German wistuom "wisdom," German Weistum "judicial sentence serving as a precedent"). Wisdom teeth so called from 1848 (earlier teeth of wisdom, 1660s), a loan-translation of Latin dentes sapientiae, itself a loan-translation of Greek sophronisteres (used by Hippocrates, from sophron "prudent, self-controlled"), so called because they usually appear ages 17-25, when a person reaches adulthood.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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