Difference Between Intelligence and Wisdom


Primary Difference

A human mind is a complicated place, there is so much going on all the time. It has to come up with thoughts, help people in making decisions and even move or perform a function to keep the human body moving. Thoughts that enter a human mind is based on how they go about their lives and conduct themselves. Many people do not bother knowing that they are saying while other people evaluate what they say and keep in mind the consequences which can arise. People who actually have the ability to differentiate between right and wrong can be divided into two different terms which are wisdom and intelligence. Both of them are qualities of human being and usually confused with each other since they are considered similar. But there are many differences between them, although they do relate in some ways. Moving on to their definition, intelligence is the ability of human being to gain information and then apply that into daily lives and become skilled. Any person with these skills is known as intelligent. On the other hand, wisdom is a more complicated phenomenon. It is the quality of gaining valuable experiences, from which knowledge is acquired, which helps in making sound judgments. A person who has these traits is known as a wise person. Another way of differentiating them would be their derivation. Intelligence was derived from a Latin word Intus, which means, to read. It is the interest of people of what they want to know about. Wisdom, on the flipside, is derived from the Latin word Sapientia, which means taste. It is the unique features of a person which make him different from others. Anyone can be born intelligent; it cannot be gained after experiencing something or improved by working. Wisdom can be gained since it is based on experiences, history and learning from the events which can change a person. Another way of showing the variations between them is that intelligence can be termed as a technical ability which can be applied to solving a problem. Wisdom is the ability to the information which is already given and implement it in such a way that good actions are taken. This can be termed as a practical thing. A wise person has to be intelligent, but an intelligent person isn’t always wise. There are some other differences too, which are mentioned at the end of the topic. For now, a brief explanation of these two types is given in the next paragraphs.

Comparison Chart

The ability to comprehend; to understand and profit from experienceAccumulated knowledge, erudition or enlightenment
An intelligent person cannot always be wisea smart person has to be intelligent by default.
can be learned through reading books, talking to people.is gained when a person goes through different experiences in life.

Definition of Wisdom

Wisdom is a word which is derived from Sapientia, a Latin word meaning taste. It can be related such that a person can develop certain traits which are only of interest to him. The person is able to find the right answers to the problems with the help of experience gained over the time with some fortunate and unfortunate events. One thing is for sure it always has a positive impact on the person and the people around him since it does not deal with the negative feelings surrounding anything. Wisdom is always practical, a person is able to implement all they learn in real life and able to solve different problems. In short, a wise person is the one who has the correct answers to everything. It is the final stage of knowledge, and a person has to be knowledgeable and intelligent to become wise since it is a difficult trait and sooner or later other characters start depending on the smart as well for guidance.


Definition of Intelligence

Intelligence is derived from a Latin word called Intus which means to read. This helps us to deduce the idea that an intelligent person is the one who gains information by searching for things and knowing more about them. It is, therefore, the next stage of knowledge. In which a person is able to ask different questions regarding a problem to find the answers. It is known as technical in a way that if there is an issue in hand, different ways of solving that problem can be found out. It is theoretical in a way that it can be gained just by reading about something, or from books and does not always have to be implemented. It leads to wisdom, which is the final stage in the process. An intelligent person, therefore, is not wise, but the vice versa case is a possibility.

Differences in a Nutshell

  1. Wisdom is the fact that a person has the right answer to everything while intelligence means asking the right questions related to a problem.
  2. Intelligence is the ability to get the information and apply in with the help of knowledge while wisdom is the capacity to learn from the past experiences, and end up making correct decisions.
  3. An intelligent person cannot always be wise but on the other hand, a smart person has to be intelligent by default.
  4. Intelligence is derived from the Latin word Intus while Wisdom stems from the Latin word Sapientia.
  5. A person with intelligence is known as intelligent while a person with wisdom is called wise.
  6. A person can be born with intelligence, but a wise person gains wisdom with time.
  7. Intelligence can be learned through reading books, talking to people but wisdom is gained when a person goes through different experiences in life.
  8. Intelligence can be termed as a technical phenomenon while wisdom can be termed as a possible event.
  9. Knowledge leads to a person becoming intelligent while intelligence leads to a person becoming wise.


Most people confuse intelligence and wisdom with each other but in reality they are very different from each other and that is what has been explained in this article so that people can get a detailed explanation of both the terms and understand the differences between them. Hopefully, this article would have helped you in achieving that target.

Harlon Moss

Harlon currently works as a quality moderator and content writer for Difference Wiki. He graduated from the University of California in 2010 with a degree in Computer Science. Follow him on Twitter @HarlonMoss