Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • adj. Having the ability to discern or judge what is true, right, or lasting; sagacious: a wise leader.
  • adj. Exhibiting common sense; prudent: a wise decision.
  • adj. Shrewd; crafty.
  • adj. Having great learning; erudite.
  • adj. Provided with information; informed. Used with to: was wise to the politics of the department.
  • adj. Slang Rude and disrespectful; impudent.
  • wise up Slang To make or become aware, informed, or sophisticated.
  • n. Method or manner of doing; way: in no wise; in any wise.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • adj. Showing good judgement or the benefit of experience.
  • adj. Disrespectful.
  • v. To become wise.
  • v. Usually with "up", to inform or learn.
  • n. Way, manner, method.
  • v. to instruct
  • v. to advise; induce
  • v. to show the way, guide
  • v. to direct the course of, pilot
  • v. to cause to turn

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • adj. Having knowledge; knowing; enlightened; of extensive information; erudite; learned.
  • adj. Hence, especially, making due use of knowledge; discerning and judging soundly concerning what is true or false, proper or improper; choosing the best ends and the best means for accomplishing them; sagacious.
  • adj. Versed in art or science; skillful; dexterous; specifically, skilled in divination.
  • adj. Hence, prudent; calculating; shrewd; wary; subtle; crafty.
  • adj. Dictated or guided by wisdom; containing or exhibiting wisdom; well adapted to produce good effects; judicious; discreet.
  • adj. Way of being or acting; manner; mode; fashion.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • Quite aware; knowing; cognizant of.
  • Having the power of discerning and judging rightly, or of discriminating between what is true and what is false, between that which is right, fit, and proper and that which is unsuitable, injudicious, and wrong; possessed of discernment, discretion, and judgment: as, a wise prince; a wise magistrate.
  • Proper to a wise man; sage; grave; serious.
  • Having knowledge; knowing; intelligent; enlightened; learned; erudite.
  • Practically or experimentally knowing; experienced; versed or skilled; dexterous; cunning; subtle; specifically, skilled in some hidden art, as magic or divination: as, the soothsayers and tho wise men.
  • Religious; pious; godly.
  • Dictated, directed, or guided by wisdom; containing wisdom; judicious: as, a wise saying; a wise scheme or plan; wise conduct or direction; a wise determination.
  • A midwife.
  • =Syn.1. Sagacious, discerning, oracular, long-headed. See wisdom.—6. Sound, solid, philosophical.
  • To guide; direct; lead or send in a particular direction.
  • To turn; incline; twist.
  • An apparent suffix, really the noun wiseused in adverbial phrases originally with a preposition, as in anywise, nowise, likewise, otherwise, etc., originally in any wise, in no wise, in like wise, in other wise, etc.; so sidewise, lengthwise, etc., in which, in colloquial use, -ways also appears, by confusion with way.
  • n. Way; manner; mode; guise; style: now seldom used as an independent word, except in such phrases as in any wise, in no wise, on this wise.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • adj. evidencing the possession of inside information
  • adj. marked by the exercise of good judgment or common sense in practical matters
  • n. United States religious leader (born in Bohemia) who united reform Jewish organizations in the United States (1819-1900)
  • adj. improperly forward or bold
  • n. a way of doing or being
  • n. United States Jewish leader (born in Hungary) (1874-1949)
  • adj. having or prompted by wisdom or discernment

Etymologies

Middle English, from Old English wīs.
Middle English, from Old English wīse.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Old English wīs, from Proto-Germanic *wīsaz, from a participle form of Proto-Indo-European *weyd-. Cognate with Dutch wijs, German weise, Swedish vis. Compare wit. (Wiktionary)
From Old English wīse, from Proto-Germanic *wīsō. Cognate with Dutch wijze, German Weise, Swedish visa, vis, Italian guisa, Spanish guisa. Compare -wise. (Wiktionary)
From Middle English wisen ("to advise, direct"), from Old English wisian ("to show the way, guide, direct"), from Proto-Germanic *wīsanan, *wīsijanan (“to show the way, dispense knowledge”), from Proto-Indo-European *weyd- (“to know”). Cognate with Dutch wijzen ("to indicate, point out"), German weisen ("to show, indicate"), Danish vise ("to show"). (Wiktionary)

Examples

Wordnik is becoming a not-for-profit! Read our announcement here.

Comments

Log in or sign up to get involved in the conversation. It's quick and easy.