knowledge and intellectual ability
"he reads to improve his mind"; "he has a keen intellect"
reason, understanding, intellect(noun)
the capacity for rational thought or inference or discrimination
"we are told that man is endowed with reason and capable of distinguishing good from evil"
a person who uses the mind creatively
English Synonyms and Antonyms
Mind, in a general sense, includes all the powers of sentient being apart from the physical factors in bodily faculties and activities; in a limited sense, mind is nearly synonymous with intellect, but includes disposition, or the tendency toward action, as appears in the phrase "to have a mind to work." As the seat of mental activity, brain (colloquially brains) is often used as a synonym for mind, intellect, intelligence. Thought, the act, process, or power of thinking, is often used to denote the thinking faculty, and especially the reason. The instinct of animals is now held by many philosophers to be of the same nature as the intellect of man, but inferior and limited; yet the apparent difference is very great.
An instinct is a propensity prior to experience and independent of instruction.
PaleyNatural Philosophy ch. 18.
In this sense we speak of human instincts, thus denoting tendencies independent of reasoning or instruction. The soul includes the intellect, sensibilities, and will; beyond what is expressed by the word mind, the soul denotes especially the moral, the immortal nature; we say of a dead body, the soul (not the mind) has fled. Spirit is used especially in contradistinction from matter; it may in many cases be substituted for soul, but soul has commonly a fuller and more determinate meaning; we can conceive of spirits as having no moral nature; the fairies, elves, and brownies of mythology might be termed spirits, but not souls. In the figurative sense, spirit denotes animation, excitability, perhaps impatience; as, a lad of spirit; he sang with spirit; he replied with spirit. Soul denotes energy and depth of feeling, as when we speak of soulful eyes; or it may denote the very life of anything; as, "the hidden soul of harmony,"
MiltonL'Allegro l. 144. Sense may be an antonym of intellect, as when we speak of the sense of hearing; but sense is used also as denoting clear mental action, good judgment, acumen; as, he is a man of sense, or, he showed good sense; sense, even in its material signification, must be reckoned among the activities of mind, tho dependent on bodily functions; the mind, not the eye, really sees; the mind, not the ear, really hears. Consciousness includes all that a sentient being perceives, knows, thinks, or feels, from whatever source arising and of whatever character, kind, or degree, whether with or without distinct thinking, feeling, or willing; we speak of the consciousness of the brute, of the savage, or of the sage. The intellect is that assemblage of faculties which is concerned with knowledge, as distinguished from emotion and volition. Understanding is the Saxon word of the same general import, but is chiefly used of the reasoning powers; the understanding, which Sir Wm. Hamilton has called "the faculty of relations and comparisons," is distinguished by many philosophers from reason in that "reason is the faculty of the higher cognitions or a priori truth."
Dictionary of English Synonymes
Translations for intellect
From our Multilingual Translation Dictionary
- äly, älykkö, ajattelija, järkiFinnish
- խելք, բանականությունArmenian
- bíniʼNavajo, Navaho
- intelectual, intelectoPortuguese
- intelect, intelectual, intelectualăRomanian
- ра́зум, ум, интелле́кт, интеллектуа́лRussian
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