philosopher
Pronunciation
  • (British) IPA: /fɪˈlɒs.ə.fə(ɹ)/
  • (America) IPA: /fəˈlɑsəfəɹ/
Noun

philosopher (plural philosophers)

  1. (originally) A lover of wisdom.
  2. A student of philosophy.
  3. A scholar or expert engaged in or contributing to philosophical inquiry.
    • 2007, Harold Bloom, Bloom's Modern Critical Views: Stephen King
      Their playwrights knew better. Scandal, murder, hair-rending and railing against the gods sold tickets. King is not a philosopher. He knows how to sell tickets.
  4. (archaic) A person who applies the principles of philosophy to the conduct of their life, as by acting calmly and rationally in the face of inevitable change.
    • 1611, The Holy Bible, […] (King James Version), imprinted at London: By Robert Barker, […], OCLC 964384981 ↗, Acts 17:18 ↗:
      Then certaine Philosophers of the Epicureans, and of the Stoikes, encountred him
    • 1813, Jane Austen, Pride and Prejudice
      This is not the sort of happiness which a man would in general wish to owe to his wife; but where other powers of entertainment are wanting, the true philosopher will derive benefit from such as are given.
  5. (archaic) A student, scholar, or expert in any branch of knowledge, especially those branches studied prior to being considered part of pure science.
  6. (obsolete) An alchemist.
    • 1813, Geoffrey Chaucer, The Canterbury Tales, The Canon's Yeoman's Tale
      Then thus conclude I, since that God of heaven
      Will not that these philosophers neven
      How that a man shall come unto this stone,
      I rede as for the best to let it gon.
    • 1945, Bertrand Russell, History of Western Philosophy
      No further progress was made in this science until the Mohammedan alchemists embarked upon their search for the philosopher's stone, the elixir of life, and a method of transmuting base metals into gold.
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