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Definitions

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

  • n. The act or faculty of knowing or sensing without the use of rational processes; immediate cognition. See Synonyms at reason.
  • n. Knowledge gained by the use of this faculty; a perceptive insight.
  • n. A sense of something not evident or deducible; an impression.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. Immediate cognition without the use of conscious rational processes.
  • n. A perceptive insight gained by the use of this faculty.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. A looking after; a regard to.
  • n. Direct apprehension or cognition; immediate knowledge, as in perception or consciousness; -- distinguished from “mediate” knowledge, as in reasoning; ; quick or ready insight or apprehension.
  • n. Any object or truth discerned by intuition.
  • n. Any quick insight, recognized immediately without a reasoning process; a belief arrived at unconsciously; -- often it is based on extensive experience of a subject.
  • n. The ability to have insight into a matter without conscious thought.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. A looking on; a sight or view.
  • n. Direct or immediate cognition or perception; comprehension of ideas or truths independently of ratiocination; instinctive knowledge of the relations or consequences of ideas, facts, or actions.
  • n. Specifically, in philosophy, an immediate cognition of an object as existent.
  • n. [Some writers hold that the German Anschauung should not be translated by intuition. But this term is a part of the Kantian terminology, the whole of which was framed in Latin and translated into German, and this word in particular was used by Kant in his Latin writings in the form intuitus, and he frequently brackets this form after Anschauung, to make his meaning clear. Besides, the cognitio intuitiva of Scotus, who anticipated some of Kant's most important views on this subject, is almost identical with Kant's own definition of Anschauung. Intellectual intuition, used since Kant for an immediate cognition of the existence of God, was by the German mystics employed for their spiritual illumination (the term intuitio intellectualis was borrowed by them from Cardinal de Cusa), or light of nature.]
  • n. Any object or truth discerned by direct cognition; a first or primary truth; a truth that cannot be acquired by but is assumed in experience.
  • n. Pure, untaught knowledge.

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

  • n. instinctive knowing (without the use of rational processes)
  • n. an impression that something might be the case

Etymologies

Middle English intuicioun, insight, from Late Latin intuitiō, intuitiōn-, a looking at, from Latin intuitus, a look, from past participle of intuērī, to look at, contemplate : in-, on; see in-2 + tuērī, to look at.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Medieval Latin intuitio ("a looking at, immediate cognition"), from Latin intueri ("to look at, consider"), from in ("in, on") + tueri ("to look, watch, guard, see, observe"). (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • The word intuition comes from the Latin intueri, which means “to look upon”; it refers to our ability to observe a situation instantaneously, without our sense perception or our logic acting as intermediary.

    The Answer

  • "Psychology," uses the term intuition in what he deems to be its

    Nature Mysticism

  • The entire scheme of Christianity disappeared from my firmament; but, in the immediately previous years, I had been a reader of Swedenborg, and I held immovably an intuition of immortality, -- or, if the term intuition be denied me, the conviction that immortality was the foundation of human existence, grounded in my earliest thoughts, and as clear as the sense of light, -- and this never failed me.

    The Autobiography of a Journalist, Volume I

  • I take this occasion to observe, that here and elsewhere Kant uses the term intuition, and the verb active (intueri Germanice anschauen) for which we have unfortunately no correspondent word, exclusively for that which can be represented in space and time.

    Biographia Literaria

  • Not surprisingly, their heuristic - the equivalent of what we call intuition, or common sense - is that of Suburbia, which has been the predominant mode of white American thought since the late 1960s.

    MIDDLE CLASS ANGST: THE POLITICS OF LEMMINGS, Part I

  • In Mind over Machine (1986), Dreyfus and Dreyfus oppose this trend and perform a valuable service by insisting on the centrality to intelligent behavior of what they call intuition—“the understanding that effortlessly occurs upon seeing similarities with previous experiences” (28).

    The Muse in the Machine

  • I feel as if my intuition is at its peak - my dreams have more clarity, I'll just "know" which road to take or who to approach with a question, etc.

    An Interview With Ellen Mcdonough

  • Lavoisier seems to have realised, by what we call intuition, that however great and astonishing may be the changes in the properties of the substances which mutually react, there is no change in the total quantity of material.

    The Story of Alchemy and the Beginnings of Chemistry

  • Mind you, it is only my idea -- what I call intuition, for want of a better word.

    The Crimson Blind

  • Apparently the world at large, certainly our own country, is turning more and more for guidance to that wisdom born of affection which we call the intuition of woman.

    Better Homes in America Plan Book for Demonstration Week October 9 to 14, 1922

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