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wise1

[wahyz] /waɪz/
adjective, wiser, wisest.
1.
having the power of discerning and judging properly as to what is true or right; possessing discernment, judgment, or discretion.
2.
characterized by or showing such power; judicious or prudent:
a wise decision.
3.
possessed of or characterized by scholarly knowledge or learning; learned; erudite:
wise in the law.
4.
having knowledge or information as to facts, circumstances, etc.:
We are wiser for their explanations.
5.
Slang. informed; in the know:
You're wise, so why not give us the low-down?
6.
Archaic. having knowledge of magic or witchcraft.
verb (used with object), wised, wising.
7.
Slang. to make wise or aware:
I'll wise you, kid.
Verb phrases
8.
wise up, Slang. to make or become aware of a secret or generally unknown fact, situation, attitude, etc.:
They wised him up on how to please the boss. She never wised up to the fact that the joke was on her.
Idioms
9.
be / get wise to, Slang. to be or become cognizant of or no longer deceived by; catch on:
to get wise to a fraud.
10.
get wise, Slang.
  1. to become informed.
  2. to be or become presumptuous or impertinent:
    Don't get wise with me, young man!
11.
put / set someone wise, Slang. to inform a person; let a person in on a secret or generally unknown fact:
Some of the others put him wise to what was going on.
Origin
900
before 900; Middle English (adj.), Old English wīs; cognate with Dutch wijs, German weise, Old Norse vīss, Gothic -weis; akin to wit1
Related forms
wisely, adverb
Synonyms
1, 2. sage, sensible, sagacious, intelligent.
Antonyms
1, 2. foolish.

wise2

[wahyz] /waɪz/
noun
1.
way of proceeding or considering; manner; fashion (usually used in combination or in certain phrases):
otherwise; in any wise; in no wise.
Origin
before 900; Middle English, Old English: way, manner; melody (OE); cognate with Dutch wijze, German Weise manner, melody, Old Norse vīsa short poem, Danish vise ballad; akin to Greek eîdos form, shape

wise3

[wahyz] /waɪz/
verb (used with object), wised, wising.
1.
Chiefly Scot.
  1. to instruct.
  2. to induce or advise.
  3. to show the way to; guide.
2.
Scot. to direct the course of; cause to turn.
Origin
before 900; Middle English wisen, Old English wīsian to show the way, guide, direct, akin to wīs wise1; cognate with Old High German wīsan, Old Norse vīsa

Wise

[wahyz] /waɪz/
noun
1.
Isaac Mayer
[mahy-er] /ˈmaɪ ər/ (Show IPA),
1819–1900, U.S. rabbi and educator, born in Bohemia: founder of Reform Judaism in the U.S.
2.
Stephen Samuel, 1874–1949, U.S. rabbi, theologian, and Zionist leader; born in Hungary.

-wise

1.
a suffixal use of wise2. in adverbs denoting manner, position, direction, reference, etc.:
counterclockwise; edgewise; marketwise; timewise.
Compare -ways.
Usage note
The suffix -wise is old in the language in adverbs referring to manner, direction, etc.: crosswise; lengthwise. Coinages like marketwise, saleswise, and weatherwise are often criticized, perhaps because of their association with the media: Otherwise—or moneywise, as they were already saying in the motion-picture industry—Hollywood was at the crest of its supercolossal glory. This suffix should not be confused with the adjective wise1, which appears in such compound words as streetwise and worldly-wise.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Examples for wise
  • All the wise heads agree.
  • It's time to wise up.
  • They want tourism to encourage wise stewardship, not enrich distant stockholders.
  • The culinary arts that distinguish one nation's cuisine from another's are based largely on the wise use of herbs.
  • The heart of the wise man is tranquil.
  • He has made a wise choice in light of his doctors' recommendations.
  • Take the quail out of the bag and cut in half length wise.
  • Given the size of those losses, you are wise to be a bit nervous, because you see how vicious corrections in stocks can be.
  • She played a wise-cracking mom in the comedy about a blue-collar family.
  • She's always been extraordinarily motivated, business-wise, career-wise.
British Dictionary definitions for wise

wise1

/waɪz/
adjective
1.
possessing, showing, or prompted by wisdom or discernment
2.
prudent; sensible
3.
shrewd; crafty a wise plan
4.
well-informed; erudite
5.
aware, informed, or knowing (esp in the phrase none the wiser)
6.
(slang) (postpositive) often foll by to. in the know, esp possessing inside information (about)
7.
(archaic) possessing powers of magic
8.
(slang, mainly US & Canadian) cocksure or insolent
9.
(often foll by to) (informal) be wise, get wise, to be or become aware or informed (of something) or to face up (to facts)
10.
(often foll by to) (slang) put wise, to inform or warn (of)
verb
11.
See wise up
Derived Forms
wisely, adverb
wiseness, noun
Word Origin
Old English wīs; related to Old Norse vīss, Gothic weis, German weise

wise2

/waɪz/
noun
1.
(archaic) way, manner, fashion, or respect (esp in the phrases any wise, in no wise)
Word Origin
Old English wīse manner; related to Old Saxon wīsa, German Weise, Old Norse vīsa verse, Latin vīsus face

-wise

combining form
1.
Also -ways. indicating direction or manner clockwise, likewise
2.
with reference to profitwise, businesswise
Word Origin
Old English -wisan; see wise²
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 wise
adj.

Old English wis, from Proto-Germanic *wisaz (cf. Old Saxon, Old Frisian wis, Old Norse viss, Dutch wijs, German weise "wise"), from past participle adjective *wittos of PIE root *weid- "to see," hence "to know" (see vision). Slang meaning "aware, cunning" first attested 1896. Related to the source of Old English witan "to know, wit."

A wise man has no extensive knowledge; He who has extensive knowledge is not a wise man. [Lao-tzu, "Tao te Ching," c.550 B.C.E.]
Wise guy is attested from 1896, American English. Wisenheimer, with mock German or Yiddish surname suffix, first recorded 1904.

n.

"way of proceeding, manner," Old English wise, ultimately from the same source as wise (adj.). Cf. Old Saxon wisa, Old Frisian wis, Danish vis, Middle Dutch wise, Dutch wijs, Old High German wisa, German Weise "way, manner." Most common in English now as a suffix (e.g. likewise). For sense evolution from "to see" to "way of proceeding," cf. cognate Greek eidos "form, shape, kind," also "course of action." Ground sense is "to see/know the way."

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Slang definitions & phrases for wise

wise

adjective

Aware; cunningly knowing; hep: Get wise, son!/ He's close-mouthed and wise, stir-wise (1896+)

Related Terms

get wise, put someone wise, street-smart


The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
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Idioms and Phrases with wise
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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