From Middle English wisdom, from Old English wīsdōm (“wisdom”), from Proto-Germanic *wīsadōmaz (“wisdom”), corresponding to wise + -dom or wise + doom (“judgement”). Cognate with Scots wisdom, wysdom (“wisdom”), West Frisian wiisdom (“wisdom”), Dutch wijsdom (“wisdom”), German Weistum (“legal sentence”), Danish/Norwegian/Swedish visdom (“wisdom”), Icelandic vísdómur (“wisdom”).
wisdom (countable and uncountable, plural wisdoms)
- (uncountable) An element of personal character that enables one to distinguish the wise from the unwise.
- (countable) A piece of wise advice.
- The discretionary use of knowledge for the greatest good.
- The ability to apply relevant knowledge in an insightful way, especially to different situations from that in which the knowledge was gained.
- The ability to make a decision based on the combination of knowledge, experience, and intuitive understanding.
- (theology) The ability to know and apply spiritual truths.
- 1652, Eugenius Philalethes, The Fame and Confeſſion of the Fraternity of…the Roſie Croſs, pages 1–2 of the preface
- Wiſdom…is to a man an infinite Treaſure, for ſhe is the Breath of the Power of God, and a pure Influence that floweth from the Glory of the Almighty; ſhe is the Brightneſs of Eternal Light, and an undefiled Mirror of the Majeſty of God, and an Image of his Goodneſs; ſhe teacheth us Soberneſs and Prudence, Righteouſneſs and Strength; ſhe underſtands the Subtilty of words, and Solution of dark ſentences; ſhe foreknoweth Signs and Wonders, and what ſhall happen in time to come.
element of personal character
- Italian: saggezza (it), senno (it) m, discernimento (it) m, criterio (it) m, avvedutezza (it) f
- Japanese: 知恵 (ja) (ちえ, chie)
- Khmer: គតិបណ្ឌិត (km) (kea’te’ bɑndɨt)
- Korean: 지혜 (ko) (jihye)
- Latin: sagacitas f, sapientia f
- Latvian: gudrība f
- Lingala: bwányá class 14
- Lithuanian: išmintis f
- Macedonian: мудрост f (mudrost)
- Malay: kebijaksanaan
- Navajo: ił ééhózin
- Norwegian: visdom (no) m
- Old Church Slavonic: мѫдрость f (mǫdrostĭ)
- Old Occitan: sapiencia, razon
- Persian: خردمندی (xeradmandi), خرد (fa) (xerad)
- Polish: mądrość (pl) f
- Portuguese: sabedoria (pt), sagacidade (pt), sapiência (pt)
- Romanian: înțelepciune (ro) f, judecată (ro) f
- Russian: му́дрость (ru) f (múdrostʹ)
- Scottish Gaelic: gliocas m
- Cyrillic: mudrost (sh) f
- Roman: мудрост f
- Slovak: múdrosť f
- Slovene: modróst (sl) f
- Spanish: sabiduría (es) f
- Swahili: mwanafalsafa
- Swedish: visdom (sv) c
- Thai: ภูมิปัญญา (th) (puum-bpan-yaa)
- Turkish: bilgelik (tr), hikmet (tr)
- Ukrainian: му́дрість f (múdristʹ)
- Vietnamese: khôn ngoan (vi)
- Welsh: doethineb
- Yiddish: חכמה f (khokhme)
discretionary use of knowledge for the greatest good
ability to apply relevant knowledge in an insightful way
ability to make a decision based on the combination of knowledge, experience, and intuitive understanding
ability to know and apply spiritual truths
- The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables, removing any numbers. Numbers do not necessarily match those in definitions. See instructions at Wiktionary:Entry layout#Translations.
Translations to be checked