How to Spell Intelligent — A Quick Spelling Guide

Have you ever had any problems with spelling in the past? Don’t worry; you aren’t the only one! Even native speakers have problems with the correct way to spell and pronounce words in the English language.

Dictionary Definition of Intelligent

black framed eyeglasses on a book that is half opened.
Photo by Emmanuel Ikwuegbu on Unsplash

The definition of the word intelligent is as follows:

  • A person capable of showing understanding, sound thought, or good judgment.
  • Having the ability to reason and understand; possessing intelligence.

The word comes from Latin, intelligent- ( which comes from intelligens, present participle of intelligere, variant of intellegere “to understand,”). 

Mental capacities describe intelligent, intellectual minds. Intelligent readers often indicate a natural ability to comprehend.

In addition to having a high degree of understanding, an intellectual is also capable of experiencing the higher forms of knowledge and intellectual interests. 

Most people think intelligent and smart are synonymous, and to an extent, they are right. However, they have different use cases.

For example, you can’t call someone intelligent when you are being sarcastic, whereas you can do that with smart.

Also, smart can be used with technological devices that are able to connect and interact with other devices remotely. In this context, no one uses intelligent devices.

How to Spell Intelligent?

Intelligent is among the top one thousand most used words, so spelling it correctly is imperative if you want to be taken seriously.

Common ways of misspelling these words are:

  • inteligent,
  • intellegent,

And so on. However, these are all false. The correct way to spell this word is by using two “L”s in the middle.

The phonetic transcription of the pronunciation of this word is in-tEl-uh-juhnt.


Intelligent is usually spelled with a capital I, it is a noun and it means “having or showing a clever and often practical judgment in matters relating to intellectual or practical knowledge”.

In terms of spelling difficulties, spelling the word I-N-T-E-L-I-G-E-N-T correctly is quite ourculean in nature.

Pam is an expert grammarian with years of experience teaching English, writing and ESL Grammar courses at the university level. She is enamored with all things language and fascinated with how we use words to shape our world.

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