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Intellect vs. Intelligence: Know the Difference

Shumaila Saeed
By Shumaila Saeed || Updated on December 25, 2023
Intellect refers to the ability to think abstractly and reason, while intelligence is the capacity to learn, understand, and apply knowledge.
Intellect vs. Intelligence

Key Differences

Intellect is the faculty of reasoning and understanding objectively, especially with regard to abstract or academic matters. It’s about thinking, understanding concepts, and the ability to apply logic. Intelligence, however, is a broader term that encompasses the ability to acquire, understand, and use knowledge. It includes not just reasoning but also the capacity to learn from experience.
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Shumaila Saeed
Nov 28, 2023
Intellect often implies a focus on higher-order thinking and the capacity for abstract thought. It's more about the process of thinking and reasoning. Intelligence encompasses these but also includes practical problem-solving, adaptability to new situations, and the ability to process and utilize information effectively.
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Shumaila Saeed
Nov 28, 2023
In terms of measurement, intellect is less quantifiable as it deals more with qualitative aspects of thought and understanding. It's more about depth and complexity of thought. Intelligence, on the other hand, is often measured through IQ tests and other standardized tests, focusing on a range of cognitive abilities.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Nov 28, 2023
Intellect is commonly associated with academic pursuits and scholarly activities. It's about mental capacity in fields like philosophy, mathematics, and literature. Intelligence is more all-encompassing, relevant in everyday problem-solving, social interactions, and various practical tasks.
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Shumaila Saeed
Nov 28, 2023
The development of intellect is often through education, debate, and intellectual discourse, focusing on enhancing one’s capacity for abstract thinking. Intelligence can be developed in a variety of ways, including education, but also through practical experience, social interaction, and even play.
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Shumaila Saeed
Nov 28, 2023
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Comparison Chart

Definition

Ability to think abstractly and reason
Capacity to learn, understand, and apply knowledge
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Nov 28, 2023

Focus

Higher-order thinking and abstract thought
Broad cognitive abilities including reasoning, learning, problem-solving
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Shumaila Saeed
Nov 28, 2023

Measurement

Less quantifiable, focuses on depth of thought
Often measured through IQ tests and standardized methods
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Associated With

Academic and scholarly activities
Everyday problem-solving, learning, and adaptability
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Shumaila Saeed
Nov 28, 2023

Development

Through education, debate, intellectual discourse
Through education, experience, social interaction
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Shumaila Saeed
Nov 28, 2023
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Intellect and Intelligence Definitions

Intellect

The power of the mind to think and reason in a logical way.
The debate showcased his sharp intellect and quick reasoning.
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Shumaila Saeed
Nov 28, 2023

Intelligence

Capacity for learning, reasoning, and problem-solving.
His intelligence allowed him to excel in diverse fields of study.
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Nov 28, 2023

Intellect

The faculty of reasoning and understanding abstractly.
Her intellect was evident in her ability to solve complex mathematical problems.
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Shumaila Saeed
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Intelligence

The ability to acquire and apply knowledge and skills.
Her intelligence was evident in how quickly she learned new languages.
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Shumaila Saeed
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Intellect

Capacity for thinking and understanding in complex, abstract ways.
His philosophical essays reflected a deep and nuanced intellect.
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Nov 28, 2023
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Intelligence

The overall ability of the mind to process and use information.
The artificial intelligence system could process information faster than a human.
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Intellect

Cognitive ability in understanding and reasoning beyond the practical.
His intellect was more inclined towards theoretical physics than applied sciences.
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Shumaila Saeed
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Intelligence

Ability to grasp complex concepts, learn from experience.
His intelligence was as much about street smarts as it was about book smarts.
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Intellect

Ability to apply knowledge and reasoning in academic fields.
Her intellect shone through in her insightful literary analyses.
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Intelligence

The ability to acquire, understand, and use knowledge
A person of extraordinary intelligence.
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Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Intellect

The ability to learn and reason; the capacity for knowledge and understanding
"Opinion is ultimately determined by the feelings, and not by the intellect" (Herbert Spencer).
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Intelligence

Information, especially secret information gathered about an actual or potential enemy or adversary.
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Intellect

A person's individual ability to think and reason
"[His] humanitarianism could never overcome the rigidities of his intellect or the shortcomings of his temperament" (Michael B. Stoff).
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Intelligence

The gathering of such information
"Corporate intelligence relies on a slew of tools, some sophisticated, many quite basic" (Neil King and Jess Bravin).
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Intellect

A person of great intellectual ability
"Gifted as both an athlete and an intellect, [he] received help from teachers who recognized his talents" (Anita Silvey).
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Intelligence

An agency or organization whose purpose is to gather such information
An officer from military intelligence.
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Intellect

(uncountable) The faculty of thinking, judging, abstract reasoning, and conceptual understanding; the cognitive faculty.
Intellect is one of man's greatest powers.
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Oct 19, 2023

Intelligence

An intelligent, incorporeal being, especially an angel.
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Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Intellect

(uncountable) The capacity of that faculty (in a particular person).
They were chosen because of their outstanding intellect.
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Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Intelligence

Of mind, especially to understand principles, truths, facts or meanings, acquire knowledge, and apply it to practice; the ability to comprehend and learn.
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Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Intellect

A person who has that faculty to a great degree.
Some of the world's leading intellects were meeting there.
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Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Intelligence

The quality of making use or having made use of such capacities: depth of understanding, mental quickness.
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Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Intellect

The part or faculty of the human mind by which it knows, as distinguished from the power to feel and to will; the power to judge and comprehend; the thinking faculty; the understanding.
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Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Intelligence

(countable) An entity that has such capacities.
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Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Intellect

The capacity for higher forms of knowledge, as distinguished from the power to perceive objects in their relations; mental capacity.
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Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Intelligence

, often secret, about an enemy or about hostile activities.
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Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Intellect

A particular mind, especially a person of high intelligence; as, he was a great intellect.
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Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Intelligence

(countable) A political or military department, agency or unit designed to gather information, usually secret, about the enemy or about hostile activities.
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Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Intellect

Knowledge and intellectual ability;
He reads to improve his mind
He has a keen intellect
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Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Intelligence

(dated) acquaintance; intercourse; familiarity.
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Shumaila Saeed
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Intellect

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
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Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Intelligence

The act or state of knowing; the exercise of the understanding.
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Intellect

A person who uses the mind creatively
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Intelligence

The capacity to know or understand; readiness of comprehension; the intellect, as a gift or an endowment.
And dimmed with darkness their intelligence.
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Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Intelligence

Information communicated; news; notice; advice.
Intelligence is given where you are hid.
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Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Intelligence

Acquaintance; intercourse; familiarity.
He lived rather in a fair intelligence than any friendship with the favorites.
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Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Intelligence

Knowledge imparted or acquired, whether by study, research, or experience; general information.
I write as he that none intelligenceOf meters hath, ne flowers of sentence.
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Oct 19, 2023

Intelligence

An intelligent being or spirit; - generally applied to pure spirits; as, a created intelligence.
The great Intelligences fairThat range above our mortal state,In circle round the blessed gate,Received and gave him welcome there.
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Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Intelligence

The division within a military organization that gathers and evaluates information about an enemy.
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Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Intelligence

The ability to comprehend; to understand and profit from experience
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Intelligence

A unit responsible for gathering and interpreting information about an enemy
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Intelligence

Secret information about an enemy (or potential enemy);
We sent out planes to gather intelligence on their radar coverage
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Intelligence

New information about specific and timely events;
They awaited news of the outcome
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Intelligence

The operation of gathering information about an enemy
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Intelligence

Cognitive ability in understanding, learning, and adapting.
Her intelligence was not just academic but also evident in social situations.
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Shumaila Saeed
Nov 28, 2023

Repeatedly Asked Queries

What is intellect?

The faculty of reasoning and understanding abstractly.
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Shumaila Saeed
Nov 28, 2023

What is intelligence?

The ability to acquire and apply knowledge and skills.
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Shumaila Saeed
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Can intellect be developed?

Yes, through education and intellectual engagement.
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Shumaila Saeed
Nov 28, 2023

How is intelligence measured?

Often through IQ tests and cognitive assessments.
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Shumaila Saeed
Nov 28, 2023

Is intellect the same as being smart?

Not exactly; it's more about depth of thought and reasoning.
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Shumaila Saeed
Nov 28, 2023

Does intelligence include emotional understanding?

Yes, emotional intelligence is a component of overall intelligence.
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Shumaila Saeed
Nov 28, 2023

Is intellect only about academic abilities?

Mostly, but it also includes the ability to understand complex ideas.
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Shumaila Saeed
Nov 28, 2023

How do education and experience affect intelligence?

They enhance it by providing knowledge and problem-solving skills.
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Shumaila Saeed
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Can animals display intelligence?

Yes, many animals show signs of intelligence in problem-solving and learning.
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Shumaila Saeed
Nov 28, 2023

Is there a difference in intellect between genders?

No, intellect is not determined by gender.
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Shumaila Saeed
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Can intelligence decline with age?

Some aspects might, but knowledge and experience can compensate.
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Shumaila Saeed
Nov 28, 2023

Can someone be intelligent but not intellectual?

Yes, if they have practical intelligence but not interest in abstract thinking.
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Shumaila Saeed
Nov 28, 2023

Can intellect be measured?

It's less quantifiable than intelligence but can be inferred through depth of understanding.
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Shumaila Saeed
Nov 28, 2023

How important is intelligence in career success?

It's important, but factors like emotional intelligence and soft skills also play a role.
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Shumaila Saeed
Nov 28, 2023

Are creativity and intellect related?

Yes, creativity often requires a strong intellect.
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Do intellect and intelligence always correlate?

Not necessarily; they are related but distinct qualities.
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Shumaila Saeed
Nov 28, 2023

Does a high IQ guarantee a high intellect?

Not always; IQ is an indicator of intelligence, but intellect also involves depth of thought.
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Shumaila Saeed
Nov 28, 2023

Is intelligence fixed at birth?

Not entirely; it can develop and change over time.
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Shumaila Saeed
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Is intelligence genetic?

Genetics play a role, but environment and education also significantly influence it.
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Shumaila Saeed
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How does intellect manifest in daily life?

Through problem-solving, reasoning, and understanding complex concepts.
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Shumaila Saeed
Nov 28, 2023

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About Author
Shumaila Saeed
Written by
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed, an expert content creator with 6 years of experience, specializes in distilling complex topics into easily digestible comparisons, shining a light on the nuances that both inform and educate readers with clarity and accuracy.

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