"the sum of the cognitive facilities (except sense or sense and imagination), the capacity for reasoning truth," late 14c. (but little used before 16c.), from Old French intellect "intellectual capacity" (13c.), and directly from Latin intellectus "discernment, a perception, understanding," noun use of past participle of intelligere "to understand, discern" (see intelligence). The Latin word was used to translate Greek nous "mind, thought, intellect" in Aristotle.
updated on December 13, 2015