Humans? Intelligent! Potted plants? Not so much. Intelligent means smart, or having the ability to process and understand information (including dictionary definitions).

Intelligent comes from a Latin word meaning "to understand, to gather," and intelligent creatures gather and make sense of information easily. Intelligent also refers to the ability to think. Intelligent objects, like speakers or software, seem to think in the way they react to change. If we’re looking for intelligent life on Mars, we want Martians who can reason. Intelligent also means showing good judgement, like an intelligent decision not to invite all those Martians to your birthday party.

Definitions of intelligent

adj having the capacity for thought and reason especially to a high degree

“is there intelligent life in the universe?”
“an intelligent question”
showing mental alertness and calculation and resourcefulness
agile, nimble
mentally quick
apt, clever
mentally quick and resourceful
brainy, brilliant, smart as a whip
having or marked by unusual and impressive intelligence
bright, smart
characterized by quickness and ease in learning
born, innate, natural
being talented through inherited qualities
quick, ready
apprehending and responding with speed and sensitivity
having a keen intellect
brilliantly clever
searching, trenchant
having keenness and forcefulness and penetration in thought, expression, or intellect
characterized by or characteristic of exceptionally early development or maturity (especially in mental aptitude)
stupid, unintelligent
lacking intelligence
lacking or marked by lack of intellectual acuity
brainless, headless
not using intelligence
relatively slow in mental or emotional or physical development
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adj exercising or showing good judgment

“an intelligent solution”
healthy, level-headed, levelheaded, sound
reasonable, sensible
showing reason or sound judgment

adj endowed with the capacity to reason

reasoning, thinking
consistent with or based on or using reason

adj possessing sound knowledge

having or appealing to those having worldly knowledge and refinement and savoir-faire

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