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Sagacity vs. Sagacious — What's the Difference?

By Tayyaba Rehman & Maham Liaqat — Updated on April 27, 2024
Sagacity refers to the quality of being wise or shrewd, often resulting from practical experience; sagacious is an adjective describing someone who possesses sagacity.
Sagacity vs. Sagacious — What's the Difference?

Difference Between Sagacity and Sagacious


Key Differences

Sagacity is a noun that denotes the quality of having keen mental discernment and good judgment, often applied in practical matters. On the other hand, sagacious is an adjective used to describe someone who exhibits sagacity, indicating wisdom in perception and decision-making.
Sagacity implies a deep, intrinsic quality of insightfulness that can be observed over time in a person's decisions and ideas. Whereas sagacious is typically used to describe specific actions or behaviors that reflect wise choices and keen understanding at a particular moment.
The term sagacity often appears in contexts that discuss a person's overall character or a lifetime of wise decisions. In contrast, sagacious might be used more immediately to comment on a particular decision or observation that is notably wise.
Sagacity is about the depth and breadth of wisdom accrued, focusing on the general ability to make good judgments. On the other hand, being sagacious is often seen as an active manifestation of this wisdom, evident in one's actions or advice at specific instances.
While sagacity is a broader trait, sagacious is the active demonstration of that trait, often highlighting its presence in real-time situations, reflecting quick and effective reasoning or judgment.

Comparison Chart

Part of Speech



Quality of being wise
Having or showing keen mental discernment

Usage in a Sentence

Indicates a general character trait
Describes specific actions or behaviors

Context of Application

Over time, general
Immediate, specific situations

Associated with

Depth of wisdom, broad
Active demonstration of wisdom, focused

Compare with Definitions


Soundness of judgment in practical matters.
His financial sagacity saved the company during the crisis.


Wise and prudent in practical affairs.
The sagacious leader took preventative measures well in advance.


Mental acuteness and shrewdness.
The old sage's sagacity was evident in his profound sayings.


Acutely insightful and wise.
He is known for his sagacious approach to complex issues.


Wisdom derived from experience and reflection.
Her sagacity was often sought in difficult family matters.


Showing sound judgment.
She made a sagacious decision to diversify her investments.


The ability to make good decisions.
His sagacity in investment matters is well recognized.


Having keen mental discernment.
She was sagacious enough to avoid the obvious pitfalls.


The quality of being discerning, sound in judgment, and farsighted; wisdom.


Shrewd and wise, especially in judgment.
His sagacious remarks during meetings are always insightful.


The quality of being sage, wise, or able to make good decisions; the quality of being perceptive, astute or insightful.


Having or showing keen discernment, sound judgment, and farsightedness.


(obsolete) Keen sense of smell.


Having or showing keen discernment, sound judgment, and farsightedness; mentally shrewd.


The quality of being sagacious; quickness or acuteness of sense perceptions; keenness of discernment or penetration with soundness of judgment; shrewdness.
Some [brutes] show that nice sagacity of smell.
Natural sagacity improved by generous education.


Of quick sense perceptions; keen-scented; skilled in following a trail.
Sagacious of his quarry from so far.


Ability to make good judgments


Hence, of quick intellectual perceptions; of keen penetration and judgment; discerning and judicious; knowing; far-sighted; shrewd; sage; wise; as, a sagacious man; a sagacious remark.
Instinct . . . makes them, many times, sagacious above our apprehension.
Only sagacious heads light on these observations, and reduce them into general propositions.


The trait of forming opinions by distinguishing and evaluating


Acutely insightful and wise;
Much too perspicacious to be taken in by such a spurious argument
Observant and thoughtful, he was given to asking sagacious questions
A source of valuable insights and sapient advice to educators


Skillful in statecraft or management;
An astute and sagacious statesman

Common Curiosities

Can sagacious be used to describe decisions as well as people?

Yes, sagacious can describe both the decisions made by people and the individuals themselves when they demonstrate wisdom.

Can a young person be described as sagacious?

Yes, a young person can be described as sagacious if they show unusually keen judgment or perceptiveness.

Is sagacity innate or acquired?

Sagacity is generally considered to be acquired through experience and reflection.

What is an example of a sagacious action?

Investing in renewable energy early on due to foresight about environmental concerns is a sagacious action.

Who is a famous person known for their sagacity?

Benjamin Franklin is often cited as a historical figure known for his sagacity.

What is the primary difference between sagacity and sagacious?

Sagacity is a noun referring to the quality of wisdom, while sagacious is an adjective describing someone who exhibits such wisdom.

How can one develop sagacity?

One can develop sagacity through extensive reading, thoughtful reflection, and practical experience.

Does sagacity increase with age?

Generally, sagacity is believed to increase with age as it is closely tied to life experiences.

Are sagacity and intelligence the same?

No, sagacity involves wise and shrewd judgment, particularly in practical matters, while intelligence is broader and includes various mental capabilities.

Is sagacious a compliment?

Yes, describing someone as sagacious is a compliment, implying they have wise judgment.

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Author Spotlight

Written by
Tayyaba Rehman
Tayyaba Rehman is a distinguished writer, currently serving as a primary contributor to As a researcher in semantics and etymology, Tayyaba's passion for the complexity of languages and their distinctions has found a perfect home on the platform. Tayyaba delves into the intricacies of language, distinguishing between commonly confused words and phrases, thereby providing clarity for readers worldwide.
Co-written by
Maham Liaqat

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