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intellectual Meaning, Definition & Usage

  1. noun a person who uses the mind creatively
  2. adjective satellite of or associated with or requiring the use of the mind
    noetic; rational.
    • intellectual problems
    • the triumph of the rational over the animal side of man
  3. adjective appealing to or using the intellect
    • satire is an intellectual weapon
    • intellectual workers engaged in creative literary or artistic or scientific labor
    • has tremendous intellectual sympathy for oppressed people
    • coldly intellectual
    • sort of the intellectual type
    • intellectual literature
  4. adjective involving intelligence rather than emotions or instinct
    • a cerebral approach to the problem
    • cerebral drama

In`tel*lec"tu*al adjective
L. intellectualis: cf. F. intellectuel.
  1. Belonging to, or performed by, the intellect; mental; as, intellectual powers, activities, etc.
    Logic is to teach us the right use of our reason or intellectual powers. I. Watts.
  2. Endowed with intellect; having the power of understanding; having capacity for the higher forms of knowledge or thought; characterized by intelligence or mental capacity; as, an intellectual person.
    Who would lose, Though full of pain, this intellectual being, Those thoughts that wander through eternity? Milton.
  3. Suitable for exercising the intellect; formed by, and existing for, the intellect alone; perceived by the intellect; as, intellectual employments.
  4. Relating to the understanding; treating of the mind; as, intellectual philosophy, sometimes called "mental" philosophy.
In`tel*lec"tu*al noun
  1. The intellect or understanding; mental powers or faculties.
    Her husband, for I view far round, not nigh, Whose higher intellectual more I shun. Milton.
    I kept her intellectuals in a state of exercise. De Quincey.

Webster 1913