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American Dictionary of the English Language

Webster's Dictionary 1828

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Wisdom


WISDOM, noun s as z. [G. See Wise.]

1. The right use or exercise of knowledge; the choice of laudable ends, and of the best means to accomplish them. This is wisdom in act, effect, or practice. If wisdom is to be considered as a faculty of the mind, it is the faculty of discerning or judging what is most just, proper and useful, and if it is to be considered as an acquirement, it is the knowledge and use of what is best, most just, most proper, most conducive to prosperity or happiness. wisdom in the first sense, or practical wisdom is nearly synonymous with discretion. It differs somewhat from prudence, in this respect; prudence is the exercise of sound judgment in avoiding evils; wisdom is the exercise of sound judgment either in avoiding evils or attempting good. Prudence then is a species, of which wisdom is the genus.

WISDOM gained by experience, is of inestimable value.

It is hoped that our rulers will act with dignity and wisdom; that they will yield every thing to reason, and refuse every thing to force.

2. In Scripture, human learning; erudition; knowledge of arts and sciences.

Moses was learned in all the wisdom of the Egyptians. Acts 7:10.

3. Quickness of intellect; readiness of apprehension; dexterity in execution; as the wisdom of Bezaleel and Aholiab. Exodus 31:3.

4. Natural instinct and sagacity. Job 39:17.

5. In Scripture theology, wisdom is true religion; godliness; piety; the knowledge and fear of God, and sincere and uniform obedience to his commands. This is the wisdom which is from above. Psalms 90:12. Job 28:12.

6. Profitable words or doctrine. Psalms 37:30.

The wisdom of this world, mere human erudition; or the carnal policy of men, their craft and artifices in promoting their temporal interests; called also fleshly wisdom 1 Corinthians 2:1. 2 Corinthians 1:12.

The wisdom of words, artificial or affected eloquence; or learning displayed in teaching. 1 Corinthians 1:17 and 2.