The Meaning of Sage: What It Is and How To Use It

What is sage? What does it mean if a person is described as sage? This article will tell you about the meaning of sage and its usage.

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The word sage can be used as an adjective or a noun. Keep reading to learn about the different meanings of the word sage.

What Does the Word Sage Mean?

According to the Collins Dictionary of the English Language, the word sage can be used as either an adjective or as a noun. Someone who is sage has prudence and profound wisdom. This person has sound judgment and might have interesting opinions on philosophical topics. The pronunciation of sage is sāj.

This usage of the word sage first arose in the Seven Sages of Greece. Sage can also have suffixes added to change its part of speech, like -ness, -er, -est, and -ly. 

Sage is also an herb with grayish green leaves that is a member of the mint family. This shrub is known as salvia officinalis in scientific terms. Sage is used in healing and medicine to benefit good health with its curative properties as well as for its taste in cooking.

White sage and blue sage are often used in spiritual practices, in which the aromatic grayish-green leaves are burned to cleanse a home or person’s energy. The dried grey-green leaves of this cosmopolitan herb and savory spice can also be used for ornamental purposes. There are various types of sage, and the leaves of this plant have numerous uses.

What Is the Origin of the Word Sage?

According to Dictionary, the word sage has been used since Middle English as either sage or the Middle English sauge. This word comes from the Middle French sau(l)ge and the 11th century Old French saulge, derived from the Latin salvia

This word is a derivative of salvus, meaning safe, which is also where we get English words like salve and salvation. Salvus comes from the Latin sapere and sapius. These Vulgar Latin terms have Proto-Indo-European roots in sap.

How Can Sage Be Used in a Sentence?

Sage can be used as an adjective and as a noun. Below are a couple of examples of sage being used as each. See if you can identify which part of speech it is used as in each sentence. 

The sage teacher gave her young students advice.

We added sage to the soup to give it a savory flavor.

They burned sage to cleanse their new home.

What Are Translations of Sage?

If you are trying to describe someone as being sage using another language, you can use this list of translations. This list of translations of sage can be very useful if you are going on museum tours while traveling in a different country, researching philosophers in another language, or conversing with someone about philosophical topics who does not speak your native language:

  • Latvian: gudrs
  • Malayalam: അറിവുള്ള
  • Chinese (PRC): 明智的
  • Bengali: বুদ্ধিমান
  • Thai: ฉลาด
  • Vietnamese: khôn ngoan
  • Italian: saggio
  • Gujarati: જ્ઞાની
  • Portuguese (Brazil): sábio
  • Romanian: înţelept
  • Marathi: ज्ञानी
  • Lithuanian: išmintingas
  • Icelandic: vitur
  • Norwegian: klok
  • Ukrainian: мудрий
  • Welsh: ddoethion
  • Hebrew: חכם
  • Hindi: ढंग
  • Swahili: hekima.
  • Finnish: viisas
  • Slovak: múdry
  • Greek: σοφός
  • French: sage
  • Portuguese (Portugal): sábio
  • Urdu: عقل مند
  • Amharic: ጥበበኛ
  • Turkish: Bilge
  • Slovenian: moder
  • Hungarian: bölcs
  • Filipino: matalino
  • Russian: Мудрый
  • Malay: bijak
  • Czech: moudrý
  • Bulgarian: мъдри
  • Estonian: targama
  • Swedish: klok
  • Tamil: பாண்டித்தியம்
  • Dutch: verstandig
  • Korean: 지혜로운
  • Japanese: 賢い
  • Danish: klog
  • Polish: mądry
  • Telugu: వారీగా
  • German: Weise
  • Chinese (Taiwan): 明智的
  • Arabic: حكمة
  • Serbian: мудар
  • Catalan: sàvia
  • Kannada: ಬುದ್ಧಿವಂತ
  • Croatian: mudar
  • Indonesian: bijak
  • Spanish: sabio
  • Basque: zentzudun

What Are Synonyms of the Word Sage?

If you want to describe someone as being sage without using the word sage itself, you can try using a synonym of the word sage from Power Thesaurus. Words that have the same meaning as sage can be used in situations where you feel that you may have overused the word sage, where sage does not have the proper connotation, or if you simply feel like spicing things up. 

Which one of these synonyms of sage do you like the most?

  • acute
  • astute
  • authority
  • brain
  • canny
  • clever
  • discerning
  • erudite
  • expert
  • genius
  • guru
  • highbrow
  • insightful
  • intellect
  • intellectual
  • intelligent
  • judicious
  • knowing
  • knowledgeable
  • learned
  • learned person
  • master
  • mentor
  • perceptive
  • perspicacious
  • philosopher
  • profound
  • prudent
  • pundit
  • rational
  • reasonable
  • sagacious
  • sapient
  • savant
  • scholar
  • sensible
  • shrewd
  • smart
  • thinker
  • wise
  • wise man

What Are Antonyms of the Word Sage?

If you know someone who is the opposite of sage, you can describe them using one of the below antonyms from Power Thesaurus. Be careful! People may not take kindly to being called some of these terms, so make sure you are aware of the connotations of these words before using them. 

  • abnormie
  • absolute idiot
  • absurd
  • as daft as a brush
  • asinine
  • ass-headed
  • berk
  • bird-brain
  • boob
  • charlie
  • coocoo
  • crazy
  • damn fool
  • ding-dong
  • doofus
  • dull
  • dumb
  • dumb as a box of rocks
  • dummy
  • fatuous
  • feather-brained
  • flat-earther
  • foolish
  • gander
  • halfwit
  • idiot
  • idiotic
  • imprudent
  • incautious
  • insane
  • jackass
  • klutz
  • mad
  • nonsensical
  • not playing with a full deck
  • obtuse
  • one sandwich short of a picnic
  • ponky
  • poop
  • prat
  • silly
  • silly billy
  • simple
  • slow
  • squarehead
  • stupid
  • stupid person
  • thick as pigsh*t
  • twit


Overall, the word sage can refer to a person who is wise, or it can refer to a plant that is used in medicine, spirituality, and cooking. The word sage can be used in many ways in the English language. Do you know someone who is sage? Have you used the properties of sage in cooking, medicine, or spirituality?


  1. Sage Synonyms | Power Thesaurus
  2. Sage Antonyms | Power Thesaurus  
  3. Sage | 
  4. Sage | Collins English Dictionary