Use the adjective "wise" to describe a person who has gained knowledge about the world through experience. The word "wise" is different from the word "smart," however, the two words might be used similarly.
- He was wise not to do that. (He was smart not to do that.)
- A wise old man gave me some very good advice.
- Valentina was wise to invest her money in that company 20 years ago. Now she’s rich.
- You should try to make wise choices when buying food.
- Eating asparagus instead of greasy french fries is a wise choice.
- He’s not too wise.
- That’s not a very wise thing to do.
- That’s not very wise.
- If you were wise, you’d stay in college and not drop out.
This word may be used with sarcasm. (The intended meaning by the speaker is the opposite of "wise.")
- Oh, that was wise.
- Wise move.
- Okay, wise guy. What’s your idea if you don’t like mine?
The word "wise" is often found in colloquial speech:
- Stop being such a wise guy. (Stop being a jerk or stop making critical comments.)
- The students were making wise cracks behind the teacher’s back. (wise crack = joke)
- Stop making wise cracks.
The word "wisely" is an adverb:
- We wisely avoided the crowds by shopping early.
- She invests her money wisely.
As a noun, this word becomes "wisdom."
- Wisdom is gained though experience.
- Her wisdom on this subject is greatly respected.
- Owls are associated with wisdom.
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This page was first published on April 23, 2014.