what is the difference between clever, smart and intelligent?

3 Answers

  • 8 years ago
    Favorite Answer

    Clever may seem like a compliment, but this adjective boasts a rather broad range of meanings—from "intelligent" and "imaginative" to "calculating" or "contrived."

    The roots of the word clever, are unknown. It was in use colloquially long before it entered the literary record, and this may be a factor in the word's enduring suppleness. The earliest written examples of clever convey the idea of dexterity — that is, the term was used to describe someone who was good with his hands. Now, clever still means "agile" or "adroit," but it refers to mental, rather than physical, skill. Clever can also be used to describe the products of a nimble mind, such as a "clever scheme" or a "clever device."

    Although smart is most often used to describe someone who is intelligent, you can also call someone a smart, chic dresser or a smart, sassy wisecracker.

    Smart often implies something good, but not always. If someone cautions you, "Don't be smart with me!" — they are demanding that you stop acting so bold and rude. As a verb, if something smarts, then it hurts. If your knee smarts, then you probably whacked it. However, if someone says that you are a smart dresser or a smart thinker, you can take those comments as compliments.

    Scientific findings that squirrels are intelligent animals sounded nutty at first, but now that doctors are encouraging people to eat more nuts because they're such healthy food, those squirrels are looking pretty smart. Pigs are considered intelligent too, and they eat garbage.

    People and computers are intelligent when they show a high level of understanding. Intelligent comes from the Latin "to understand, to gather," and intelligent creatures gather and make sense of information easily. Many people who aren't labeled intelligent show creativity with resources, or an intelligent use of space, money, or time. While not everyone is considered intelligent — there are even smart vs. dumb computers — most do things that are intelligent, just as intelligent people can do things that are dumb.

  • 8 years ago

    Well I think everyone can have their own little ideas of the definitions but for me clever would be witty, fast to understand, knowing more than most people without trying. Smart would be academically smart, good at mathematics, sciences, maybe arts, getting 90+ scores (more specific categories of being smart: "you are smart in math" or "you are smart in english"). Intelligent would be overall good, reads a lot, understands a lot about a lot, just has a lot of facts in the head about a lot of things in life.

  • Anonymous
    8 years ago

    Nothing. They're just synonyms to one another. Meaning they have the same meaning just a different word.

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