Most accurately defined in I Hope They Serve Beer in Hell by Tucker max:

"{A pseudo-intellectual typically has}horn-rimmed glasses, drinks Pinot Grigio by the glass at bars, buys poetry books but never reads them, avoids red meat, shops at the Kiehls counter, acts indignantly offended by Howard Stern,{and}likes to drop names like 'Foucault' and 'Sartre' in normal conversation."
These individuals, typically between 17 and 35 in age, can generally be found in the local coffee shop or art gallery and become very prevalent near the coastlines. However, the most common breeding grounds for pseudo-intellectuals are college campuses, with special emphasis on the Ivies, the Ivy equivalents, and tiny-ass liberal arts colleges.

Further characteristics of a pseudo intellectual include:

-ordering appletinis by the glass and requesting that they be "heavy on the apple and light on the 'tini."

-Rolling their own cigarettes (if they smoke).

-Railing on smokers for polluting the environment (if they don't smoke).

-Driving a small-ass hybrid, eating dolphin safe tuna, and criticizing those who pollute despite the fact that their Clinique makeup (if they are girls)was tested on defenseless animals and poor kids in Nepal.

-Acting "eccentric" to differentiate themselves from the masses as to seem unique, even though their kind are quite common.
-Consistently criticizing America and its citizens for no good reason, followed by the claim that they will move to Paris after they graduate from college in order to escape American "hypocrisy" and "naivete" in pursuit of a "higher culture." I didn't know high culture was defined as the act of running to America when in need then returning the favor by bitching out and waiving the white flag when America needed help (yeah, I'm talking about France).

-being nonconformists for the sake of nonconformity. The problem here is that by not conforming, they are actually conforming to the nonconformist movement and, thus, are still conformists. The majority will just respond by calling you "domesticated and uncultured" while the few honest ones will realize the error of their ways and immediately kill themselves to rectify the situation (but much to my dismay, this rarely happens).

-Having extremely bizarre statuses and/or information in their facebook profiles.

-being "liberal" solely for the sake of being liberal. Ask them what liberalism is and they will provide you with some nonsensical prattle about how you are not "enlightened" enough to understand their supposedly superior logic.

-watching or claiming to watch and enjoy French movies that no one has ever heard of. They also read similar books and will willingly criticize you for reading good fiction books like Harry Potter or reading any form of nonfiction.

-Liking Che Guevara yet knowing absolutely nothing about him or what he did. This trait is shared by wannabe Rastas as well.

Bastions of pseudo-intellectualism:

-Columbia University
-Harvard University
-Davidson College
-Carleton College
-Every high ranking liberal arts school
-Any school with a strong art or environmental studies program.
Douglas: This girl in my biology class about how great this new french movie called "L'SurrenderMonkey" was. When I asked her if she saw "Taken," she stated that she "finds American cinema to be far too bland, as the characters typically lack emotional complexity and generally never experience a cathartic moment of transcendence."
Zach: Fucking pseudo-intellectual. How did you respond?

Douglas: With 30 seconds of dumbstruck staring....then I proceeded to powder the pimp hand and slap her multiple times across the face.
by Herak Obama February 12, 2009
Top Definition
1. One who attempts to flex intellect that does not exist within his or her own mind.

2. Can probably be found with a thesaurus in hand, while in a chat room, looking up new insults that are synonymous with "stupid" in order to boost his or her own undeserved ego.

3. Typical cases of pseudo-intellectualism involve pre-pubescent 15 year olds that think they have everything figured out, including, but not limited to: life, religion, politics, education, and sex. Ironically, they have never quite experienced either of the aforementioned.

4. Pretends he or she has an opinion.

5. Posseses a severe tendency to blindly and wholeheartedly believe any bullshit they hear, only to subsequently regurgitate the misinformation to anyone they see in an asinine attempt to appear more intelligent than a used, broken condom.

6. Should the victim of the verbal onslaught happen to have a differing opinion, the pseudo-intellectual will revert to his or her thesaurus and insult the opposition with words he or she never knew existed, and probably cannot even pronounce.

7. Annoyingly and constantly refers to the word antidisestablishmentarianism, as if knowledge of said word defined his or her illegitimately high intelligence quotient.

8. Typically a hypocrite; creates many, many contradictions. Most online grammar/spelling Nazis can relate.

9. Always ends a bullshit "argument" with, "I win, so stfu." Win what, dipshits? Your opinions weren't fact in the first place.
<Pseudo-Intellectual> Omg. You are Stupid. You are an idiot for not agreeing with everything I say. I know I'm right, even though I know nothing about the subject, because my friend knows someone that read someone's blog somewhere that mentioned something about it. I win, so stfu, you unintelligent moron. God, your stupid. You're such a stupid idiot. Antidisestablishmentarianism.

<Pseudo-Intellectual has signed off>
by ohfukmeh September 14, 2004
the person above me^^^^
by tipsy August 26, 2003
4 signs of the pseudo-intellectual

1. Quoting

2. Going against common thought without evidence

3. Bringing up intellectualism in non-requistite situations

4. Un-neccersary use of verbs and adjectives with 4 syllables or more
Dude #1: hey wanna go to the movies tomorrow night?

Dude #2: Nah, the cinema is so low-brow. I don't understand how so many people find aesthetic values in it. I'm going home to read. As Descartes said "cogito, ergo sum".

Dude #1: Yeah....OK.
by Simon Bee June 09, 2005
Pseudo-intellectuals are people of average intelligence who are enchanted with highly intellectual topics and discussions such as philosophy, socioeconomics, destiny of humanity, etc.

Unlike a genuine academic, a pseudo-intellectual’s main reason for being interested in these topics is because it makes him feel intellectually superior to his peers. He usually despises main stream culture, accuses those who disagree with him as being ignorant, and when his ideas are challenged, he often retaliates with “That’s a straw man argument!”

Pseudo-intellectuals can often be found in political discussion boards on the internet, patronizing boutique shops, participating in various Anti-something rallies, sitting on a park’s bench during a weekend afternoon and playing a guitar, or spending eight consecutive years in college trying to earn a B.A degree in political science or philosophy.
Jim: Who is that asshole that sits in the back of the class in American History and pisses off the professor all the time?

Amy: Oh, that’s Mark. He’s one of those pseudo-intellectuals.
by Edgardo February 02, 2007
A person who uses "big words" to impress people, insists on being politically-correct all the time, constantly bitches about "the system", and thinks they're gods among men because they're atheist.
"Billy is such a pseudo-intellectual; he thinks he has to take American Government I this year because the school board's trying to brainwash him."
by Rei August 23, 2003
the act of going to a coffeeshop with an impressive book (Debord, Nietzche, or maybe an advance bio book) and flipping through the pages without comprehension in hopes of starting a conversation with another patron.
Man that guy was going so pseudo-intellectual at the hungarian pastry shop.
by Rishi K. Gandhi January 25, 2005
A Pseudo-Intellectual is somebody who thinks he's got it all figured out, but really doesn't know his ass from a hole in the ground.
TheAmazingAtheist is the perfect example of a Pseudo-Intellectual.
by Slayn August 11, 2007

Free Daily Email

Type your email address below to get our free Urban Word of the Day every morning!

Emails are sent from We'll never spam you.