An intellectual is one who tries to use his or her intellect to work, study, reflect, speculate, or ask and answer questions about a wide variety of different ideas. Often, intellectuals are authors, artists, people who write columns for newspapers and magazines, and college professors.
In the 20th century, the term Intellectual acquired positive connotations of social prestige, derived from possessing intellect and intelligence, especially when the intellectual's activities showed positive consequences in the public sphere and so increased the intellectual understanding of the public.
Intellectual Facts for Kids. Kiddle Encyclopedia.