Difference Between
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Knowledge vs. Wisdom: Know the Difference

Shumaila Saeed
By Shumaila Saeed || Updated on December 25, 2023
Knowledge is the collection of facts, information, and skills acquired through experience or education, while wisdom is the ability to apply knowledge judiciously and insightfully, often with personal and moral understanding.
Knowledge vs. Wisdom

Key Differences

Knowledge is the accumulation of facts and data that one has learned about or experienced. It’s knowing a fact or an event. Wisdom, on the other hand, is the ability to discern and judge which aspects of that knowledge are true, right, lasting, and applicable to your life.
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Knowledge can be learned through education and research, making it accessible to anyone. Wisdom, derived from life experiences, is often thought to be a trait that one must cultivate through reflection, humility, and a willingness to learn.
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Knowledge covers a wide range of information and subjects, while wisdom is often deep insight into people, things, events, or situations, promoting the common good and personal understanding.
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Knowledge is often considered to be externally focused, concerned with facts and objective truths. Wisdom is seen as internally focused, a function of personal character, ethics, and compassionate understanding of others.
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Knowledge can be consistent over time, as facts usually don’t change. Wisdom, however, can evolve and deepen with personal experiences and life lessons.
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Comparison Chart

Nature

Collection of facts, information, and skills
Application of knowledge with insight and ethics
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Acquisition

Gained through education and experience
Cultivated through reflection and life experience
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Focus

Often factual and objective
Involves judgment, ethics, and empathy
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Role in Decision-Making

Provides data for decisions
Guides how to use knowledge for good judgments
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Evolution Over Time

Can be static; facts remain consistent
Evolves with personal growth and experiences
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Knowledge and Wisdom Definitions

Knowledge

It encompasses a wide range of facts, concepts, and truths.
His knowledge of different cultures was impressive.
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Wisdom

Wisdom is often associated with virtues such as ethics, compassion, and patience.
Her wisdom in dealing with adversity inspired many.
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Knowledge

Knowledge can be theoretical or practical, relating to various fields.
Her knowledge of computer programming made her an asset to the team.
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Wisdom

Wisdom is the ability to make sound judgments and decisions based on knowledge.
His wisdom in handling complex issues was respected by his peers.
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Knowledge

Knowledge is often acquired through formal education and reading.
Her knowledge of medicine was obtained through years of study.
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Wisdom

It implies a moral dimension of being wise, not just intelligent.
His wisdom was evident in his fair and ethical business practices.
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Knowledge

The state or fact of knowing
Humans naturally aspire to knowledge.
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Wisdom

Wisdom involves a deep understanding of people, things, or situations.
Her wisdom in interpersonal relationships prevented many conflicts.
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Knowledge

Familiarity, awareness, or understanding gained through experience or study
Has great knowledge of these parts.
Has only limited knowledge of chemistry.
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Wisdom

Wisdom is the insightful application of knowledge for the common good.
The leader’s wisdom was evident in his policies that benefited the community.
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Knowledge

The sum or range of what has been perceived, discovered, or learned
The extraordinary knowledge housed in the library.
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Wisdom

The ability to discern or judge what is true, right, or lasting; insight.
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Knowledge

(Archaic) Carnal knowledge.
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Wisdom

Common sense; good judgment
"It is a characteristic of wisdom not to do desperate things" (Henry David Thoreau).
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Knowledge

The fact of knowing about something; general understanding or familiarity with a subject, place, situation etc.
His knowledge of Iceland was limited to what he'd seen on the Travel Channel.
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Wisdom

The sum of learning through the ages; knowledge
"In those homely sayings was couched the collective wisdom of generations" (Maya Angelou).
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Knowledge

Awareness of a particular fact or situation; a state of having been informed or made aware of something.
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Wisdom

Wise teachings of the ancient sages.
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Knowledge

Intellectual understanding; the state of appreciating truth or information.
Knowledge consists in recognizing the difference between good and bad decisions.
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Wisdom

A wise outlook, plan, or course of action.
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Knowledge

Familiarity or understanding of a particular skill, branch of learning etc.
Does your friend have any knowledge of hieroglyphs, perchance?
A secretary should have a good knowledge of shorthand.
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Wisdom

Wisdom(Bible) Wisdom of Solomon.
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Knowledge

(philosophical) Justified true belief
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Wisdom

(uncountable) An element of personal character that enables one to distinguish the wise from the unwise.
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Knowledge

Sexual intimacy or intercourse (now usually in phrase carnal knowledge).
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Wisdom

(countable) A piece of wise advice.
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Knowledge

(obsolete) Information or intelligence about something; notice.
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Wisdom

The discretionary use of knowledge for the greatest good.
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Knowledge

The total of what is known; all information and products of learning.
His library contained the accumulated knowledge of the Greeks and Romans.
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Wisdom

The ability to apply relevant knowledge in an insightful way, especially to different situations from that in which the knowledge was gained.
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Knowledge

(countable) Something that can be known; a branch of learning; a piece of information; a science.
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Wisdom

The ability to make a decision based on the combination of knowledge, experience, and intuitive understanding.
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Knowledge

(obsolete) Acknowledgement.
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Wisdom

(theology) The ability to know and apply spiritual truths.
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Knowledge

(obsolete) Notice, awareness.
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Wisdom

(rare) A group of wombats.
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Knowledge

The deep familiarity with certain routes and places of interest required by taxicab drivers working in London, England.
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Wisdom

(rare) A group of owls.
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Knowledge

(obsolete) To confess as true; to acknowledge.
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Wisdom

The quality of being wise; knowledge, and the capacity to make due use of it; knowledge of the best ends and the best means; discernment and judgment; discretion; sagacity; skill; dexterity.
We speak also not in wise words of man's wisdom, but in the doctrine of the spirit.
Behold, the fear of the Lord, that is wisdom; and to depart from evil is understanding.
It is hoped that our rulers will act with dignity and wisdom that they will yield everything to reason, and refuse everything to force.
Common sense in an uncommon degree is what the world calls wisdom.
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Knowledge

The act or state of knowing; clear perception of fact, truth, or duty; certain apprehension; familiar cognizance; cognition.
Knowledge, which is the highest degree of the speculative faculties, consists in the perception of the truth of affirmative or negative propositions.
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Wisdom

The results of wise judgments; scientific or practical truth; acquired knowledge; erudition.
Moses was learned in all the wisdom of the Egyptians, and was mighty in words and in deeds.
Knowledge and wisdom, far from being one,Have ofttimes no connection. Knowledge dwellsIn heads replete with thoughts of other men;Wisdom, in minds attentive to their own.Knowledge, a rude, unprofitable mass,The mere materials with which wisdom builds,Till smoothed, and squared, and fitted to its place,Does but encumber whom it seems to enrich.Knowledge is proud that he has learned so much;Wisdom is humble that he knows no more.
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Knowledge

That which is or may be known; the object of an act of knowing; a cognition; - chiefly used in the plural.
There is a great difference in the delivery of the mathematics, which are the most abstracted of knowledges.
Knowledges is a term in frequent use by Bacon, and, though now obsolete, should be revived, as without it we are compelled to borrow "cognitions" to express its import.
To use a word of Bacon's, now unfortunately obsolete, we must determine the relative value of knowledges.
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Wisdom

Accumulated knowledge or erudition or enlightenment
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Knowledge

That which is gained and preserved by knowing; instruction; acquaintance; enlightenment; learning; scholarship; erudition.
Knowledge puffeth up, but charity edifieth.
Ignorance is the curse of God;Knowledge, the wing wherewith we fly to heaven.
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Wisdom

The trait of utilizing knowledge and experience with common sense and insight
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Knowledge

That familiarity which is gained by actual experience; practical skill; as, a knowledge of life.
Shipmen that had knowledge of the sea.
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Wisdom

Ability to apply knowledge or experience or understanding or common sense and insight
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Knowledge

Scope of information; cognizance; notice; as, it has not come to my knowledge.
Why have I found grace in thine eyes, that thou shouldst take knowledge of me?
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Wisdom

The quality of being prudent and sensible
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Knowledge

Sexual intercourse; - usually preceded by carnal; same as carnal knowledge.
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Wisdom

An Apocryphal book consisting mainly of a meditation on wisdom; although ascribed to Solomon it was probably written in the first century BC
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Knowledge

To acknowledge.
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Knowledge

The psychological result of perception and learning and reasoning
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Knowledge

Knowledge is the understanding of or information about a subject gained through experience or study.
His extensive knowledge of history helped him excel in the quiz competition.
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Knowledge

Knowledge includes the recall and recognition of specific facts.
His knowledge of the city’s streets made navigating easy.
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Repeatedly Asked Queries

What is wisdom?

Wisdom is the ability to apply knowledge in a meaningful, ethical, and insightful way.
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Can knowledge be taught?

Yes, knowledge can be taught and acquired through education and experience.
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What is knowledge?

Knowledge is the collection of facts and information acquired through learning and experience.
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Is knowledge always factual?

Knowledge is typically based on facts and objective truths.
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How is wisdom developed?

Wisdom is developed through life experiences, reflection, and a deep understanding of situations.
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How does knowledge help in decision-making?

Knowledge provides the necessary information and facts to make informed decisions.
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Does wisdom change over time?

Yes, wisdom can evolve and deepen with personal growth and life experiences.
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Can a person be knowledgeable but not wise?

Yes, it’s possible to have knowledge without the wisdom to apply it effectively or ethically.
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How does wisdom influence decision-making?

Wisdom guides the ethical and insightful application of knowledge in decision-making.
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Can one have wisdom without knowledge?

Wisdom generally requires some level of knowledge but emphasizes the application of that knowledge.
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Is wisdom subjective?

Wisdom can be seen as subjective since it involves personal judgment and insight.
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Can wisdom be inherent?

While some individuals may be naturally inclined towards wise judgment, wisdom is typically cultivated over time.
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Are knowledge and wisdom mutually exclusive?

No, they are interrelated; knowledge is often a foundation for wisdom, but they can exist independently.
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Is wisdom valued in all cultures?

Wisdom is generally valued across cultures, often associated with maturity and insight.
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Are there different types of knowledge?

Yes, there are different types of knowledge, including theoretical, practical, and experiential.
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Is wisdom always beneficial?

Wisdom is generally beneficial, but its application depends on the individual’s moral and ethical framework.
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How important is context in understanding wisdom?

Context is crucial in understanding wisdom as it often involves applying knowledge to specific situations.
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Does age influence wisdom?

Age can influence wisdom, as it often comes with life experiences, but it’s not a sole determinant.
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Can knowledge be incorrect?

Yes, knowledge can be incorrect or outdated, requiring constant updating and verification.
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Can technology enhance knowledge and wisdom?

Technology can enhance knowledge by providing access to information, but wisdom still relies on human judgment and application.
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Nov 20, 2023

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Shumaila Saeed
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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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