Etymology
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pointy (adj.)

1640s, "notably pointed," from point (n.) + -y (2). Insult pointy-head for one deemed overly intellectual, attested by 1971, was popularized, if not coined, by U.S. politician George Wallace in his 1972 presidential run. In earlier slang (late 19c.) pointy meant "terse, well-put, pithy."

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middlebrow 

1911 (adj.) "having average or moderate cultural interest;" 1912 (n.) "person of average or moderate cultural interests," from middle (adj.) + brow (compare highbrow, lowbrow).

[T]here is an alarmingly wide chasm, I might almost say a vacuum, between the high-brow, who considers reading either as a trade or as a form of intellectual wrestling, and the low-brow, who is merely seeking for gross thrills. It is to be hoped that culture will soon be democratized through some less conventional system of education, giving rise to a new type that might be called the middle-brow, who will consider books as a source of intellectual enjoyment. ["The Nation," Jan, 25, 1912]
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noumenon (n.)

"that which can be the object only of a purely intellectual intuition" (opposed to a phenomenon), 1796, a term introduced by Kant, from Greek noumenon "that which is perceived," neuter passive present participle of noein "to apprehend, perceive by the mind" (from noos "mind," which is of uncertain origin). With passive suffix -menos.

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physicalist (n.)

by 1858 as "one who maintains that human intellectual and moral nature depend on and results from one's physical constitution or organization," from physical (adj.) + -ist. By 1934 as "one who holds the theory that all science must be capable of being expressed in the language of physics." Related: Physicalism.

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discernment (n.)

1580s, "keenness of intellectual perception, insight, acuteness of judgment;" see discern + -ment. From 1680s as "act of perceiving by the intellect."

Penetration, or insight, goes to the heart of a subject, reads the inmost character, etc. Discrimination marks the differences in what it finds. Discernment combines both these ideas. [Century Dictionary]
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Pericles 

Athenian statesman (c. 495-429 B.C.E.), leader of the city in its period of intellectual and material preeminence, from Latinized form of Greek Perikles, literally "far-famed," from peri "all around" (see peri-) + -kles "fame," a common ending in Greek proper names, related to kleos "rumor, report, news; good report, fame, glory," from PIE *klew-yo-, suffixed form of root *kleu- "to hear." Related: Periclean.

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symposium (n.)

1580s, "account of a gathering or party," from Latin symposium "drinking party, symposium," from Greek symposion "drinking party, convivial gathering of the educated" (related to sympotes "drinking companion"), from assimilated form of syn- "together" (see syn-) + posis "a drinking," from a stem of Aeolic ponen "to drink," from PIE root *po(i)- "to drink."

The symposium usually followed a dinner, for the Greeks did not drink at meals. Its enjoyment was heightened by intellectual or agreeable conversation, by the introduction of music or dancers, and by other amusements. [Century Dictionary]

The sense of "a meeting on some subject" is from 1784. Reflecting the Greek fondness for mixing wine and intellectual discussion, the modern sense is especially from the word being used as a title for one of Plato's dialogues. Greek plural is symposia, and the leader of one is a symposiarch (c. 1600 in English). Related: Symposiac (adj.); symposial.

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smart (n.)

late 12c., smerte, "sharp physical pain," from smart (adj.). Cognate with Middle Dutch smerte, Dutch smart, Old High German smerzo, German Schmerz "pain." Of mental pain or suffering from c. 1300. In old cant, "a dandy," 1712. Smarts "good sense, intelligence," is recorded by 1968 (Middle English had ingeny "intellectual capacity, cleverness" (early 15c.)).

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ingenious (adj.)

early 15c., "intellectual, talented," from Old French ingenios, engeignos"clever, ingenious" (Modern French ingénieux), from Latin ingeniosus "of good natural capacity, full of intellect, clever, gifted with genius," from ingenium "innate qualities, ability; inborn character," literally "that which is inborn," from in- "in" (from PIE root *en "in") + gignere "to beget" (from PIE *gen(e)-yo-, suffixed form of root *gene- "give birth, beget").

Sense of "skillful, crafty, clever at contrivance" first recorded 1540s; earlier in this sense was Middle English enginous (mid-14c.), from Old French engeignos. Middle English also had engineful "skillful (in war)" (c. 1300). By a direct path, Latin ingenium produced Middle English ingeny "intellectual capacity, cleverness" (early 15c.), but this is obsolete. Compare engine. Related: Ingeniously; ingeniousness.

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enlighten (v.)

late 14c., "to remove the dimness or blindness" (usually figurative, from one's eyes or heart); see en- (1) + lighten (v.2). From 1660s as "supply with intellectual light." Literal senses are later and less common in English: "put light in" is from 1580s; "shed light upon" is from 1610s. Related: Enlightened; enlightening. Old English had inlihtan "to illuminate, enlighten."

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