Mathematical intuition is the instinctive impression regarding mathematical ideas which originate naturally without regard to formal mathematical proofs. It may or may not stem from a cognitive rational process.

To have intuition about a mathematical truth is to have some insight into *why* it is true, and to understand the motivation for talking about that truth in the first place. This is usually stated in contrast with merely having a superficial knowledge of a mathematical truth as a fact, or only having skills at applying a mathematical truth to solve a problem without having the conceptual understanding of solution.

For a nice explanation of mathematical intuition with examples, and links to other articles on developing mathematical understanding, see *Developing Your Intuition For Math* on BetterExplained.com.