Smart vs. Intelligent

The key difference between smart and intelligent is the ability to acquire knowledge and skills. Smart is an earned status or a trait a person can gain by studying or learning something whereas intelligent is a trait a person is born with it.

The difference between being smart and being intelligent is linked with the environment you live in and with the situations you face daily. Smartness involves quick thinking, action, and the ability to come up with the best solution for a situation that anyone cannot even think about it. Intelligence is directly proportional to a person’s ability to comprehend things and respond rationally accordingly.

In many contexts, smartness is described as a skill that is generally desirable for day-to-day life whereas intelligence is usually inherited at birth, and is considered as an innate ability.

If you want to know whether you are a smart or an intelligent person, keep reading with us and find out together.

Comparison Chart

Basis Smart Intelligent
Definition Smart  is called a person who uses his intelligence practically and efficiently in the day to day circumstances Intelligence is something which a person is born with as people cannot buy it
Measurement Not measurable IQ (Intelligence Quotient) is a measurement of intelligence
Refers to It refers to both intellect as well as the appearance of the person The intellect of a person solely
Nature Always practical and has good judgment May not always practical
Quality Smart is when you react to a situation in the perfect way you can The sense of awareness and quick knowledge absorption are hallmarks of intelligence
Famous Quote It does not make sense to employ smart people and tell them what to do, but employ smart people hence they can tell us what should we do The truly intelligent person is the one who could easily pretend to be a fool while sitting with a fool who pretends to be intelligent

What is Smart?

The word “Smart” is an adjective which is connected to the intelligence of a person. A smart person also refers to an intelligent person who makes the right choices and who acts the right way in practical situations.

A person can become smart at any moment of their life by applying what information they have acquired so far or by learning from personal experiences. These people can quickly adapt to a situation and make the best of it.

We often see people are told that they are smart but not as smart as they think and they also end up hearing that some people seem smart, but in reality, they are not. So, who is a really smart person?

Let’s see what genuinely smarter people have that the intelligent ones lack!

Characteristics of Smart People

Able to Make Decisions

Smart people are determined and confident and do not allow themselves to get sidetracked and derailed easily. They believe in themselves and can make the right decisions. A smart person is the one who can read the situation and act accordingly.

They think before they speak

The minute you ask a smart person a question, you will at all times notice that they will take their time to answer. Their mouth is rarely quicker than their brain and is wiser enough to know when and where to speak.

Wise Use Of Opportunities

Smart is getting ahead in life by quickly identifying the opportunities around. When an opportunity knocks at the door of smart people, they do take the time to analyse the option but make sure they wisely make the best use of that opportunity.

A Good Sense of Humor

Smart people are fond of jokes and always try to spread happiness by creating a relaxed atmosphere when possible. The motto of smart people is,

“The more we laugh, the healthier our lives become, and the nearer we are to succeed.

Lateral Thinking

Unlike narrow-minded people who are limited to their judgment, smart people always think out of the box and are not afraid of thinking differently. They are not held back by learning new ways of thinking and are still eager to learn

“Besides black and white, they see intermediate colors too.”

What is Intelligent?

The word “Intelligent” refers to the capability to acquire knowledge and apply skills swiftly. Intelligence is usually inherited and stems from your genetic makeup. According to experts,

“Many highly intelligent people don’t even realize how intelligent they are because being intelligent does not require any efforts to put in it”.  Instead, you polish your innate intelligence by acquiring knowledge and utilizing it.

Intelligence cannot make you smart or clever as it purely refers to the ability to gain knowledge effectively. It does not refer to the skill to apply this knowledge to practical situations. That’s why many scientist and professors who have a high-intelligence level are often known as absent-minded people.

Signs of Intelligent People

Thus, here are some signs that you are highly intelligent even if you don’t feel like;

You Are Curious

What, when, where, why, and how are the questions you think about whenever you see something around!

Intelligent people are naturally curious who always want to know more and more about the world and the people around them.

You Are Quiet & Observant

In a world where people are trying to prove who they are, highly intelligent people are the opposite!

Instead of showing off their accomplishments or arguing with people how right their opinions are, they are usually quiet and observant.

You Are Procrastinate

Highly intelligent people love challenge situations! They love the thrill of finishing something at the last minute, or they are incredibly confident in their ability to do so. Instead of finishing their work in advance, procrastinators spend their time thinking of some innovative idea.

You Are Introvert

Not all, but the majority of highly intelligent people love to spend time with themselves. Usually, their main hobbies are to read, take a long walk alone, or dine by themselves without being self-conscious about being on their own.

You Are Night Owl

People who stay up late and sleep in later are more likely to be highly intelligent than those who set on regular sleeping hours.

Dr Wai says, “Intelligent people stay up later because they tend to be introverted, and like being up late without distractions to think and solve problems”.

Key Differences between Smart and Intelligent

  1. The main difference between being intelligent and smart is a certain degree of higher education. Usually intelligence implies higher learning levels and higher education. Smartness is an earned status such as taking smart moves in practical situations and dealing with all the emotional situations.
  2. Intelligence is the precious gift that you are born with and is usually measurable by giving IQ test while smartness is having the ability to quickly adapt to a situation and make the best use of it.
  3. Smart person is the one who is clever in action and quicker in thought while an intelligent person has in-depth information and who always finds more efficient ways of solving problems.

Comparison Video


Intelligent people are quite different from smart people and vice versa. Smartness is about the speed of thinking and how you react and take decisions, whereas intelligence is about the extent and depth of understanding. The smartness of a person is reflected through how fast a person can respond, can solve a problem, and make the best decision. Intelligence is usually reflected through how accurately and deeply a person understands the root cause of a problem and can synthesize vast information and produce logical conclusions.

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