What does it mean to be intelligent?

Is using the brain that you have--learning and expanding your mind, common sense. Having knowledge but also being rational, and having good critical thinking and problem-solving skills. Possessing the ability to learn, to know, and using it. The ability to learn from your mistakes. Being knowledgeable in multiple areas, the ability and thirst for learning, and above all, having the ability to adapt to new information in out ever changing conditions and adjust our beliefs and actions accordingly.

Intelligent when talking about non-human life could simply mean being self aware, and aware of ones surroundings. Or put even simpler, intelligence could be the ability to learn. I also think part of being intelligent is being able to come up with your own intelligent ideas; not simply memorizing or comprehending what other peoples says or want.

Being intelligent has to do with your capacity to learn new things and discard useless information if you need to. Seriously, a huge part of being intelligent is being able to discard evidence that has been shown to be invalid regardless of your emotional attachment. That’s one of the problems with most people, they lack the ability to detach emotionally and dismantle their own view if necessary.

It means being curious, questioning everything, use of critical thinking. Being a skeptic; but not a debunker. Making rational decisions with your head not your heart. To be best suited for ones environment; to be mentally and emotionally aware of things.

I believe that someone who is intelligent may not necessarily be "smart." I use the terms loosely but my way of looking at smart is information obtained. Intelligence is a thought process. Someone who went to college to learn something I don’t know doesn’t necessarily make them more intelligent, because if I were in their shoes I could have potentially learned what they did. Simply put, intelligence is determined through potential.

It depends on the context, as there is no single definition that captures all denotation and connotation completely. Generally speaking, intelligence (in humans) is regarded as comprising one or more abilities, including but not limited to the ability to:
  1. Interpret, integrate, and discern the intentionality behind a wide range of symbolic elements (such as language or phenomena) in a wide range of varying and dynamic contexts.
  2. Dissect and analyze a wide range of symbolic elements into a group, arrangement or system of constituent component parts.
  3. Manipulate or transform symbolic elements into new symbolic representations, where the transformations are pleasing, symmetric, optimal, or otherwise consistent with one or more underlying principles; purposes or ideals.
  4. Know when to say "enough is enough."
Primarily, if we’re looking for a simplification of intelligent; it’s the ability to recognize patterns. The more complex patterns a person can recognize, the more intelligent they are considered.