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 a 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