Difference Between Smart and Wise

Main Difference –  Smart vs Wise

Smart and wise are two positive adjectives that refer to the intelligence and good judgment of a person. Although both these adjectives are somewhat similar in  meaning, you might have noticed a difference in usage. Smart is often used as an informal word and it can refer to people of all age categories. Wise is more commonly used with mature and experienced people. Wise refers to knowledge, good judgement, experience, sensibility as well as wisdom whereas smart mainly refers to quick-witted intelligence. This is the main difference between smart and wise. Difference Between Smart and Wise - infographic

Smart- Meaning and Usage

Smart refers to the intelligence of a person. A smart person is an intelligent person who knows how to apply his intelligence to practical situations. A smart person also has a good judgment; he is practical and can adapt himself to situations.

Smart may also refer to the physical appearance of a person. A clean, neat, well-dressed person can also be described as smart.

She is a smart girl.

Anna was wearing a smart dress.

Your son is very smart and intelligent.

They are said to be smart dogs.

She is the smartest girl in the class.

Moreover, smart which refers to the intelligence is considered to be an informal word. Therefore, it shouldn’t be used in formal and academic contexts.

Main Difference -  Smart vs  Wise

Wise – Meaning and Usage

Wise is also an adjective that refers to the intelligence of a person. Wise is associated with deep understanding, keen discernment, and a capacity for sound judgment. In other words, a wise person has the ability to recognize or judge what is true, right, or lasting; he or she has experience, knowledge, and good judgment. A wise person is sensible and prudent.

The wise old man advice them gently.

It would be wise to discuss this matter with your family.

He is wise in the ways of politics.

The wise precautions she took saved her life.

His wise words helped us to understand the truth.

Difference Between Smart and Wise

Difference Between Smart and Wise


Smart refers to having or showing a quick-witted intelligence.

Wise refers to having or showing experience, knowledge, and good judgment.

Experience and Knowledge 

Smart doesn’t refer to experience and knowledge.

Wise implies experience and knowledge.


Smart can be used to refer to people of all ages.

Wise is often associated with maturity.


Smart is an informal word.

Wise can be used in formal contexts.

Spoken and Written Language 

Smart is mostly used in spoken language.

Wise is used in both spoken and written language.

 Image Courtesy:

“Be wise LCCN98513469” By Work Projects Administration Poster Collection – Library of Congress Catalog: (Public Domain) via Commons Wikimedia 

 “Image 2” (Public Domain) via Pixbay

About the Author: Hasa

Hasanthi is a seasoned content writer and editor with over 8 years of experience. Armed with a BA degree in English and a knack for digital marketing, she explores her passions for literature, history, culture, and food through her engaging and informative writing.