IQ Meaning: Here’s What It Means and How To Use It

The term “IQ” is common, but do you know what it stands for? Or what the acronym means? Read on to discover our complete guide on IQ.  

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Unless you’ve been hiding in a bunker since the day you were born, you’ve probably heard the term “IQ” used before. 

You may even have taken some kind of test that promised to reveal your IQ and tell you how bright you are compared to some of the greats like Albert Einstein and Nikola Tesla. 

But what does the term “IQ” actually mean? Or what the acronym stands for? Not to worry — we’re here to help! 

In this post, we’re exploring “IQ” to uncover its definition, origin, how to use it in daily conversation, and more. So, if you’ve ever been curious about the term IQ or wondered how it’s measured— keep reading. Here’s our complete guide on IQ. 

What Is the Definition of IQ?

\ ˌī-ˈkyü \ aɪ kjuː\

The abbreviation IQ stands for “intelligence quotient.” This term can be defined as a standard measure of a person’s intelligence level based on various psychological tests. 

Back in the day, IQ was calculated by dividing an individual’s mental age by their chronological age before multiplying it by 100 to produce a ratio IQ. This concept is a bit outdated, however, and has mostly been replaced by the deviation IQ, which is computed as a function of the discrepancy of a person’s score from the mean (AKA average) score.

What Is the Average IQ?

By design, IQ tests have an average score of 100. Most people — about 65 percent — have an IQ between 85 and 115. With that in mind, here are the top countries with the highest average IQs from around the globe:

  • Japan – 106.49
  • Taiwan – 106.47
  • Singapore – 105.89
  • Hong Kong (China) – 105.37
  • China – 104.10
  • South Korea – 102.35
  • Belarus – 101.60
  • Finland – 101.20
  • Liechtenstein – 101.07
  • Netherlands & Germany (tie) – 100.74

In case you were wondering — the United States has an average IQ of 98 points and ranks 27th in the world. 

What Are the Synonyms and Antonyms of IQ?

Now that you understand what the word “IQ” means, let’s open up a thesaurus to take a look at a few synonyms and antonyms.

A synonym is a word or phrase that has the same — or nearly the same — meaning as another word. Synonyms of IQ include:

  • Intellect
  • Brain 
  • Grasp
  • Mentality
  • Understanding
  • Intellectual power
  • Proficiency
  • Mastery
  • Command
  • Dexterity
  • Brilliance
  • Aptitude
  • Finesse
  • Capacity
  • Comprehension

In contrast, an antonym is a word or phrase of opposite meaning. Antonyms of the term IQ include: 

  • Stupidity
  • Darkness
  • Dullness
  • Ineptness
  • Incompetence
  • Inability
  • Weakness
  • Clumsiness
  • Inefficiency
  • Ignorance
  • Misinterpretation

How Can You Use IQ in a Sentence?

Wondering how to use our word of the day in a sentence? We’ve got you covered! Here are a few sentence examples for you to review:

“Mrs. Baker had us take an IQ test at school today.”

“Did you get your test score back yet? Apparently, I have a high IQ!”

“Those with high IQs are usually really good at problem-solving and thinking on their feet.”

“The results of my IQ test were high! They say that I should be in an older age group.”

“Did you know that Alfred Binet co-founded the Stanford-Binet Intelligence Scale which measures and tests IQ?”

“I have a pretty high IQ compared to the other kids at my high school.”

“A good measurement of intelligence is an IQ test like the one Lewis Terman revised.”

“The average IQ score in America is a 98, which ranks 27th in the world.”

“Whether you’re looking to measure crystallized intelligence or fluid intelligence, an IQ test is an excellent tool.”

What Are Translations of Intelligence Quotient?

Believe it or not, there is more than one way to say IQ. Yup, it’s true — some of the most common translations of IQ are as follows:

  • Arabic — حَاصِلُ الذَّكَاءُ 
  • Brazilian Portuguese — QI 
  • Greek — δείκτης νοημοσύνης 
  • Italian — QI
  • Japanese — 知能指数 
  • Korean — 지능지수 
  • Norwegian — IQ
  • European Portuguese — QI 
  • Romanian — IQ
  • Russian — коэффициент умственного развития 
  • Spanish — cociente intelectual
  • Chinese — 智商 
  • Dutch — IQ 
  • European Spanish — coeficiente intelectual 
  • Finnish — ÄO 
  • Thai — เกณฑ์บอกระดับเชาวน์ปัญญา, ไอคิว (ย่อจาก Intelligence Quotient)
  • Turkish — IQ 
  • Ukrainian — коефіцієнт інтелектуальності
  • Vietnamese — Chỉ số Thông minh IQ
  • French — QI
  • Croatian — kvocijent inteligencije

What Is the Most Popular IQ Test?

The IQ tests that are most widely used today include the Wechsler Scales and the Stanford-Binet Intelligence Scale. Other tests for measuring intelligence include:

  • Differential Ability Scales
  • Peabody Individual Achievement Test
  • Universal Nonverbal Intelligence
  • Woodcock-Johnson III Tests of Cognitive Disabilities
  • Raven’s Progressive Matrices
  • The Kaufman Assessment Battery for Children
  • The Cognitive Assessment System

How Can an IQ Test Be Used?

There are a number of various reasons why someone might take an IQ test. That said, some of the most common purposes for testing a person’s intelligence include:

  • Cognitive research
  • Educational assessment and placement
  • Job candidate evaluation
  • Assessment and diagnosis of intellectual disability
  • Assessing cognitive abilities (memory, speed, attention, problem solving, etc.)

Intelligence testing has evolved quite a bit over the years, but modern IQ tests often focus on abilities such as mathematical skills, spatial perception, and language abilities. The capacity to solve problems and retain information are crucial components of intelligence, so more often than not, these are the skills on which IQ tests focus. 


To sum it up, our word of the day — IQ (intelligence quotient) — is defined as a measure of a person’s ability to reason and solve problems. An individual’s score comes from standardized tests that are designed to measure both human intelligence and intellectual potential. 

There are numerous reasons for testing one’s IQ, from academic placement to cognitive evaluation. All in all, understanding your IQ is an excellent tool for growth. 


  1. What is IQ — and how much does it matter? | Science News for Students 
  2. Average IQ by Country 2022 | World Population Review
  3. What is another word for IQ? | IQ Synonyms | WordHippo Thesaurus