Isaac wise

[wahyz] /waɪz/

Isaac Mayer
[mahy-er] /ˈmaɪ ər/ (Show IPA), 1819–1900, U.S. rabbi and educator, born in Bohemia: founder of Reform Judaism in the U.S.
Stephen Samuel, 1874–1949, U.S. rabbi, theologian, and Zionist leader; born in Hungary.
possessing, showing, or prompted by wisdom or discernment
prudent; sensible
shrewd; crafty: a wise plan
well-informed; erudite
aware, informed, or knowing (esp in the phrase none the wiser)
(slang) (postpositive) often foll by to. in the know, esp possessing inside information (about)
(archaic) possessing powers of magic
(slang, mainly US & Canadian) cocksure or insolent
(often foll by to) (informal) be wise, get wise, to be or become aware or informed (of something) or to face up (to facts)
(often foll by to) (slang) put wise, to inform or warn (of)
See wise up
(archaic) way, manner, fashion, or respect (esp in the phrases any wise, in no wise)

Old English wis, from Proto-Germanic *wisaz (cf. Old Saxon, Old Frisian wis, Old Norse viss, Dutch wijs, German weise “wise”), from past participle adjective *wittos of PIE root *weid- “to see,” hence “to know” (see vision). Slang meaning “aware, cunning” first attested 1896. Related to the source of Old English witan “to know, wit.”

A wise man has no extensive knowledge; He who has extensive knowledge is not a wise man. [Lao-tzu, “Tao te Ching,” c.550 B.C.E.]

Wise guy is attested from 1896, American English. Wisenheimer, with mock German or Yiddish surname suffix, first recorded 1904.


“way of proceeding, manner,” Old English wise, ultimately from the same source as wise (adj.). Cf. Old Saxon wisa, Old Frisian wis, Danish vis, Middle Dutch wise, Dutch wijs, Old High German wisa, German Weise “way, manner.” Most common in English now as a suffix (e.g. likewise). For sense evolution from “to see” to “way of proceeding,” cf. cognate Greek eidos “form, shape, kind,” also “course of action.” Ground sense is “to see/know the way.”


A person who exerts influence, esp in a covert way; operator: Grunewald, bigtime wirepuller in the tangled Washington bureaucracy (1833+)


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