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Intelligence vs. Wit: Know the Difference

Shumaila Saeed
By Shumaila Saeed || Updated on December 25, 2023
Intelligence is the ability to acquire and apply knowledge and skills, while wit is the capacity for inventive thought and quick understanding, often with a humorous twist.
Intelligence vs. Wit

Key Differences

Intelligence involves the ability to learn, understand, and reason. Wit, in contrast, is about quick and clever mental responses, often with a humorous or sharp edge.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Dec 04, 2023
Intelligence encompasses a broad range of cognitive abilities including problem-solving, abstract thinking, and memory. Wit is specifically associated with humor, cleverness in speech, and the ability to make quick connections.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Dec 04, 2023
Intelligence is often measured and valued in academic and professional settings. Wit, however, is more associated with social interactions, eliciting laughter, and providing entertainment.
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Shumaila Saeed
Dec 04, 2023
While intelligence can be developed through education and learning, wit often involves a natural sharpness and creativity that can be honed but is also inherently present.
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Shumaila Saeed
Dec 04, 2023
Intelligence is key in fields that require analytical and critical thinking. Wit, on the other hand, is highly appreciated in creative arts, comedy, and in casual social discourse for its entertainment value.
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Shumaila Saeed
Dec 04, 2023
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Comparison Chart

Word Type

Noun
Noun
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Syllables

Four syllables
One syllable
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Word Origin

Latin 'intelligentia'
Old English 'witt'
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Typical Usage

Often used in academic, educational, professional contexts
Commonly used in social, conversational, artistic contexts
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Shumaila Saeed
Dec 04, 2023

Related Terms

Intelligent, intellect, intelligible
Witty, witless, witticism
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Dec 04, 2023
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Intelligence and Wit Definitions

Intelligence

Mental acuity or quickness of understanding.
His intelligence allowed him to solve complex problems easily.
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Shumaila Saeed
Nov 25, 2023

Wit

Mental sharpness and inventiveness; keen intelligence.
Her wit was always the highlight of the conversation.
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Shumaila Saeed
Nov 25, 2023

Intelligence

The ability to perform computer-like functions.
Artificial intelligence is revolutionizing technology.
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Shumaila Saeed
Nov 25, 2023

Wit

A person known for their humorous and clever remarks.
The comedian was a celebrated wit.
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Shumaila Saeed
Nov 25, 2023

Intelligence

The collection of information of military or political value.
The spy agency gathered intelligence on foreign governments.
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Nov 25, 2023
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Wit

The ability to perceive and express in an ingeniously humorous manner.
She had the wit to make even mundane stories entertaining.
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Shumaila Saeed
Nov 25, 2023

Intelligence

The ability to acquire and apply knowledge and skills.
Her intelligence was evident in her quick mastery of new languages.
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Shumaila Saeed
Nov 25, 2023

Wit

The natural ability to perceive and understand; intelligence.
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Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Intelligence

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

Wit

Often wits Practical intelligence; shrewdness or resourcefulness
Living by one's wits.
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Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Intelligence

Information, especially secret information gathered about an actual or potential enemy or adversary.
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Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Wit

Wits Sound mental faculties; sanity
Scared out of my wits.
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Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

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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Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Wit

(Archaic) A person of exceptional intelligence.
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Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Intelligence

An agency or organization whose purpose is to gather such information
An officer from military intelligence.
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Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Wit

The ability to express oneself intelligently in a playful or humorous manner, often in overturning audience expectations
A writer with a scintillating wit.
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Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Intelligence

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

Wit

A person noted for this ability, especially in conversation
“My mother, the family wit and teaser, knew better than to joke about the disaster” (Donald Hall).
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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

Wit

Intelligent playfulness or humor in expression, as in speech, writing, or art
Novels known for their wit and inventiveness.
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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

Wit

To be or become aware of; learn.
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Oct 19, 2023

Intelligence

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

Wit

To know.
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Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Intelligence

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

Wit

Sanity.
He's gone completely out of his wits.
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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

Wit

The senses.
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Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Intelligence

(dated) acquaintance; intercourse; familiarity.
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Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Wit

Intellectual ability; faculty of thinking, reasoning.
Where she has gone to is beyond the wit of man to say.
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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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Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Wit

The ability to think quickly; mental cleverness, especially under short time constraints.
My father had a quick wit and a steady hand.
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Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

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

Wit

Intelligence; common sense.
The opportunity was right in front of you, and you didn't even have the wit to take it!
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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

Wit

Humour, especially when clever or quick.
The best man's speech was hilarious, full of wit and charm.
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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

Wit

A person who tells funny anecdotes or jokes; someone witty.
Your friend is quite a wit, isn't he?
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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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Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Wit

Know, be aware of constructed with of when used intransitively.
You committed terrible actions — to wit, murder and theft — and should be punished accordingly.
They are meddling in matters that men should not wit of.
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Shumaila Saeed
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

Wit

(Southern American English) with
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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

Wit

To know; to learn.
Brethren, we do you to wit [make you to know] of the grace of God bestowed on the churches of Macedonia.
Thou wost full little what thou meanest.
We witen not what thing we prayen here.
When that the sooth in wist.
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Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Intelligence

The ability to comprehend; to understand and profit from experience
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Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Wit

Mind; intellect; understanding; sense.
Who knew the wit of the Lord? or who was his counselor?
A prince most prudent, of an excellentAnd unmatched wit and judgment.
Will puts in practice what wit deviseth.
He wants not wit the dander to decline.
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Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Intelligence

A unit responsible for gathering and interpreting information about an enemy
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Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Wit

A mental faculty, or power of the mind; - used in this sense chiefly in the plural, and in certain phrases; as, to lose one's wits; at one's wits' end, and the like.
I will stare him out of his wits.
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Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Intelligence

Secret information about an enemy (or potential enemy);
We sent out planes to gather intelligence on their radar coverage
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Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Wit

Felicitous association of objects not usually connected, so as to produce a pleasant surprise; also. the power of readily combining objects in such a manner.
The definition of wit is only this, that it is a propriety of thoughts and words; or, in other terms, thoughts and words elegantly adapted to the subject.
Wit which discovers partial likeness hidden in general diversity.
Wit lying most in the assemblage of ideas, and putting those together with quickness and variety wherein can be found any resemblance or congruity, thereby to make up pleasant pictures in the fancy.
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Oct 19, 2023

Intelligence

New information about specific and timely events;
They awaited news of the outcome
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Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Wit

A person of eminent sense or knowledge; a man of genius, fancy, or humor; one distinguished for bright or amusing sayings, for repartee, and the like.
In Athens, where books and wits were ever busier than in any other part of Greece, I find but only two sorts of writings which the magistrate cared to take notice of; those either blasphemous and atheistical, or libelous.
Intemperate wits will spare neither friend nor foe.
A wit herself, Amelia weds a wit.
But my five wits nor my five senses canDissuade one foolish heart from serving thee.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Intelligence

The operation of gathering information about an enemy
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Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Wit

A message whose ingenuity or verbal skill or incongruity has the power to evoke laughter
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Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Intelligence

Information in general; news.
They received intelligence about the upcoming product launch.
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Shumaila Saeed
Nov 25, 2023

Wit

Mental ability;
He's got plenty of brains but no common sense
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Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Wit

A witty amusing person who makes jokes
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Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Wit

A natural aptitude for using words and ideas in a quick and inventive way.
He charmed everyone with his quick wit.
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Shumaila Saeed
Nov 25, 2023

Wit

A witty remark or statement.
His comment was a wit that left everyone laughing.
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Shumaila Saeed
Nov 25, 2023

Repeatedly Asked Queries

Can intelligence be increased?

Yes, intelligence can be developed through education, experiences, and training.
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Shumaila Saeed
Dec 04, 2023

Is wit the same as humor?

Wit involves humor but is specifically associated with quickness and cleverness in its delivery.
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Shumaila Saeed
Dec 04, 2023

Can someone be intelligent but not witty?

Yes, a person can be intelligent in various fields without necessarily possessing wit.
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Shumaila Saeed
Dec 04, 2023

Are intelligence tests accurate?

Intelligence tests can provide insights but may not fully capture all aspects of a person's intelligence.
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Shumaila Saeed
Dec 04, 2023

Is wit always appreciated?

Wit is generally appreciated, but it must be used appropriately to the context and audience.
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Shumaila Saeed
Dec 04, 2023

Is wit important in communication?

Wit can enhance communication by making it more engaging and memorable.
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Shumaila Saeed
Dec 04, 2023

Can intelligence be inherited?

Genetics can play a role in intelligence, but environment and education also have significant impacts.
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Shumaila Saeed
Dec 04, 2023

How does culture affect intelligence?

Culture can influence how intelligence is perceived and the ways in which it is developed.
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Shumaila Saeed
Dec 04, 2023

Does wit require intelligence?

Wit typically requires a certain level of intelligence, especially quick thinking and creativity.
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Shumaila Saeed
Dec 04, 2023

What role does intelligence play in problem-solving?

Intelligence plays a crucial role in problem-solving, especially in analyzing and applying knowledge.
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Shumaila Saeed
Dec 04, 2023

Can wit be offensive?

Wit can be offensive if not used sensitively or if it targets individuals in a harmful way.
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Dec 04, 2023

What is the relationship between intelligence and creativity?

Intelligence and creativity are related, as both involve the ability to think and apply ideas in novel ways.
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Shumaila Saeed
Dec 04, 2023

Can wit be learned?

While some aspects of wit may be innate, it can be developed through practice and exposure to humor and clever thinking.
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Shumaila Saeed
Dec 04, 2023

Can artificial intelligence surpass human intelligence?

In certain tasks, artificial intelligence can surpass human intelligence, but it lacks human creativity and emotional understanding.
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Dec 04, 2023

How is wit used in literature?

Wit is often used in literature to add humor, critique society, or convey messages subtly.
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Shumaila Saeed
Dec 04, 2023

How does wit benefit social interactions?

Wit can make social interactions more enjoyable and can help in forming connections with others.
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Shumaila Saeed
Dec 04, 2023

Is sarcasm a form of wit?

Sarcasm can be a form of wit, but it often carries a biting or ironic tone.
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Shumaila Saeed
Dec 04, 2023

What is emotional intelligence?

Emotional intelligence is the ability to understand and manage one's own emotions and the emotions of others.
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Shumaila Saeed
Dec 04, 2023

Can intelligence be context-specific?

Yes, intelligence can be specific to certain fields or contexts, like musical intelligence or mathematical intelligence.
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Shumaila Saeed
Dec 04, 2023

Is intelligence the same as knowledge?

Intelligence is the ability to apply knowledge and skills; it is not the same as having knowledge.
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Shumaila Saeed
Dec 04, 2023

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About Author
Shumaila Saeed
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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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