Difference Between Similar Terms and Objects

Difference Between Intelligence and Intellect

Intellect and intelligence are interrelated. Intellect, as a matter of fact, has been for long considered as a branch of intelligence. This makes most people use the two words interchangeably.

However, it is apparent the two words refer to different traits. A clear distinction can be drawn between the two terms based on several aspects.


Meaning of Intelligence

Intelligence is a term used to refer to an individual’s ability to acquire and then apply skills and knowledge.

Qualities of an Intelligent Person

An intelligent person:

  • Is enticed with deep talks.
  • Is curious
  • Is open-minded.
  • Is sometimes a loner.
  • Is usually disorganized.


Meaning of Intellect

Intellect is defined as the faculty of understanding and reasoning objectively, especially regarding abstract matters.

Qualities of an Intellectual

An intellectual person:

  • Thinks based on reasoning.
  • Looks for facts.
  • Takes calculated risks.


Differences Between Intelligence and Intellect

  1. Meaning

Intelligence is an individual’s ability to acquire skills and knowledge and apply them while intellect is the faculty of objectively understanding and reasoning abstract matters.

  1. Form

Intelligence is the mental ability to compute materials while intellect is the mental capacity for materials.

  1. Acquisition

Intelligence is knowledge-based and encompasses all mental processes outside logic while intellect is inborn.

  1. Design

Intellect is objective in that it does not require exploration, judgment, or redundancy. On the other hand, intelligence is subjective.  In short, it’s a canvas to which individuals bring their intellectual, mental, and personal backlogs.

Intelligence Vs. Intellect: Comparison Table


Summary of Intelligence Vs. Intellect

The push and pull existing between intelligence and intellect are natural. Many a time are when we find our gut instincts were right even when the situation suggests otherwise. That would be a clear difference between the application and design of intelligence and intellect.


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  1. I am expressing my gratitude for sharing the systematic differences between the often crucial terms. Thank you so much for your helpful postings. Please keep it up. God bless you.

  2. I believe you mixed up the acquisition and design of intelligence and intellect. Because intelligence is the one that people are born with, not intellect. Intellect is knowledge-based, intelligence is the ability to adapt to changes (so that one is inborn).

  3. I agree with Eszter. That you got it upside down and the table which got me to this post felt weird to me.

    In fact instead bringing clarity it muddled up the difference between the two words. If I look at the first row and columns I can only see them as being the same because when you say the ability to understand things and use them, and the other one says it is the faculty of understanding things, and reasoning objectively.

    Can a person understand and acquire knowledge and skills without being objective and reasonable? the fact is it is not possible. To further support Eszter’s chain of thought, that intelligence is primary and intellect secondary, here’s what the dictionary says:

    Definition of Intellect

    1a: the power of knowing as distinguished from the power to feel and to will: the capacity for knowledge
    b: the capacity for rational or intelligent thought especially when highly developed.

    Definition of Intelligence

    1a(1): the ability to learn or understand or to deal with new or trying situations :
    also: the skilled use of reason
    (2) : the ability to apply knowledge to manipulate one’s environment or to think abstractly as measured by objective criteria (such as tests)
    c: mental acuteness: SHREWDNESS
    b Christian Science: the basic eternal quality of divine Mind

    In fact, Intellect has been shown as a synonym of Intelligence.

    Synonyms for Intelligence:

    brain(s), brainpower, grey matter, headpiece, intellect, intellectuality, mentality, reason, sense, smarts

    I wonder why no one noticed. I’m not an expert on language or writing in terms of being qualified. I do try to be as good as I can be and am always open to learn and improve.

    The few things that are permanent in this fragile existence, which could be gone in a second are:

    1. Change (which people have and will always resist or try to stop)

    2. Death (you can say he smoked too much and died of cancer, or whatever else but the fact is anyone could die anytime without his habits being the cause of his demise)

    3. Learning (6 billion plus people who see things differently even when they have the same roots, environment, and education. It means you can learn from elders or a child, we may have done the things the child does now but his idea and approach to it may be totally different from ours, his experience could be good or bad, that means I can learn from him and have a slightly or majorly different view on the subject or I would say that’s just wrong and be better prepared to let people who share this view see it my way and understand)

    It’s a win-win situation.

    • I like the way you put that together each of us truly do see and interpret things differently
      And push different outcomes in return you get mixed results
      Though this comes at you strong if read all of it not just parts to get the jist

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References :

[0]Image credit: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Fowler%27s_works_on_education_and_self-improvement,_cultivation_of_the_memory_and_intellect,_on_matrimony,_hereditary_descent,_its_laws_and_facts,_natural_religion,_temperance_and_tight_lacing_-_all_(14763366232).jpg

[1]Image credit: https://pixabay.com/en/artificial-intelligence-brain-think-3683774/

[2]Wiggers, Kyle. "Alexa’S New Wake-On-LAN Feature Turns On Smart Devices Over Local Networks". Venturebeat, 2018, https://venturebeat.com/2018/11/16/alexas-new-wake-on-lan-feature-turns-on-smart-devices-over-local-networks/. Accessed 16 Nov 2018.

[3]Liu, Larry. "Intellectuals Vs. Intelligent People". Mr Liu's Opinions, 2018, https://liamchingliu.wordpress.com/2012/06/25/intellectuals-vs-intelligent-people/. Accessed 16 Nov 2018.

[4]"Intelligence Vs. Intellect". Huffpost, 2018, https://www.huffpost.com/entry/intelligence-vs-intellect_b_9369632. Accessed 16 Nov 2018.

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