in·​tan·​gi·​ble | \ (ˌ)in-ˈtan-jə-bəl How to pronounce intangible (audio) \

Definition of intangible

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: not tangible : impalpable education's intangible benefits



Definition of intangible (Entry 2 of 2)

: something intangible: such as
a : an asset (such as goodwill) that is not corporeal
b : an abstract quality or attribute

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Other Words from intangible


intangibility \ in-​ˌtan-​jə-​ˈbi-​lə-​tē How to pronounce intangibility (audio) \ noun
intangibleness \ in-​ˈtan-​jə-​bəl-​nəs How to pronounce intangibleness (audio) \ noun
intangibly \ in-​ˈtan-​jə-​blē How to pronounce intangibly (audio) \ adverb

Synonyms & Antonyms for intangible

Synonyms: Adjective

Antonyms: Adjective

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Examples of intangible in a Sentence

Adjective Leadership is an intangible asset to a company. electrical energy is completely intangible
Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective But every employee has made individual contributions -- tangible and intangible -- to your organization's success. Jeanne Sahadi, CNN, "The best ways to show your employees you appreciate them," 19 Dec. 2019 Perhaps the biggest losses in the 2010s were intangible. The Economist, "Latin America’s second “lost decade” is not as bad as the first," 12 Dec. 2019 On top of this, easy loopholes developed that helped in tax evasion especially by companies dealing with intangible goods and services. Mercy Muendo, Quartz Africa, "Kenya’s new “Uber” tax on digital businesses and services could spark US trade retaliation," 9 Dec. 2019 The problem could be that what is most important to maintaining your high standards is outlined in somewhat vague and intangible terms. Magi Helena, oregonlive, "Horoscope for Dec. 7, 2019: Leo, don’t explain or complain; Capricorn, take compliments with a grain of salt," 7 Dec. 2019 Responses ran the gamut of tangible and intangible desirables, some of which are truly shoot-for-the-stars gifts and at least one that doesn't cost any money at all. Ars Technica, "Staffsource: Ars staffers’ most wished-for gifts in 2019," 22 Nov. 2019 But there’s also an intangible factor: fatigue with the parties that have shared power for decades, and with Ms. Merkel’s nearly 14 years on top. Bojan Pancevski, WSJ, "Merkel, Already Wobbling, Faces Fresh Blow in Historical Stronghold," 12 Oct. 2018 Users can also read up on other intangible factors like vibe, noise levels, and local insights that are harder to research through Google. Dami Lee, The Verge, "Trulia Neighborhoods lets you see crowdsourced local reviews of an area before you move in," 14 Aug. 2018 In court papers, Harvard said that a statistical analysis could not capture the many intangible factors that go into Harvard admissions. Anemona Hartocollis, New York Times, "Harvard Rated Asian-American Applicants Lower on Personality Traits, Suit Says," 15 June 2018 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun But accounting for intangibles, says Mr Philippon, narrows but does not close the investment gap. The Economist, "Are anti-competitive firms killing American innovation?," 12 Dec. 2019 Frank Ntilikina, the French import, is defensively adroit, a contributor of intangibles the box score does not record, but, with the ball, selfless to the point of squeamish. Harvey Araton, New York Times, "Knicks Search for the Right Lineup. But Is There One?," 5 Nov. 2019 Good chemistry was one of the important intangibles the Bucks had last season. Matt Velazquez, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "The Bucks are in the final countdown to regular season, eager – and hopefully ready – to get going," 18 Oct. 2019 While Smart brings tremendous quality in terms of intangibles and is more comfortable playing off the ball, this should be a case where Fox’s more dynamic offensive skill set wins out. Jeremy Woo,, "Projecting Team USA's 12-Man Roster for the FIBA World Cup," 6 Aug. 2019 During his first press conference in Orlando, most of Pareja’s promises for the Lions’ future hinged on similar intangibles. Julia Poe, Pro Soccer USA, "Orlando City coach Óscar Pareja embraces challenge of building winning team," 7 Dec. 2019 Maybe the Intangibles had lost sight of the intangibles. Nick Paumgarten, The New Yorker, "My Year of Concussions," 4 Nov. 2019 What has also endeared him to Leach are his intangibles, such as becoming more of a vocal leader at Leach’s request – ironic because he’s also been known to go facemask to facemask with a linebacker and talk smack. oregonlive, "Is Washington State’s Anthony Gordon the country’s best QB? Is Mike Leach leaving Pullman? Five questions answered by a WSU football expert," 21 Nov. 2019 And amortization is effectively depreciation of intangibles, like music rights. Glenn Peoples, Billboard, "What's a Music Company Worth? Comparing Tencent's UMG Deal to Other Label Investments," 14 Oct. 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'intangible.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of intangible


1640, in the meaning defined above


1914, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for intangible


French or Medieval Latin; French, from Medieval Latin intangibilis, from Latin in- + Late Latin tangibilis tangible

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Time Traveler for intangible

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The first known use of intangible was in 1640

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Statistics for intangible

Last Updated

3 Jan 2020

Cite this Entry

“Intangible.” The Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., Accessed 20 January 2020.

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More Definitions for intangible


How to pronounce intangible (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of intangible

: not made of physical substance : not able to be touched : not tangible


in·​tan·​gi·​ble | \ in-ˈtan-jə-bəl How to pronounce intangible (audio) \

Kids Definition of intangible

1 : not capable of being touched Light is intangible.
2 : not having physical substance Goodwill is an intangible asset.


in·​tan·​gi·​ble | \ in-ˈtan-jə-bəl How to pronounce intangible (audio) \

Legal Definition of intangible

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: incapable of being touched : having no physical existence : not tangible or corporeal



Legal Definition of intangible (Entry 2 of 2)

: something intangible specifically : an asset (as goodwill or a patent right) that is not corporeal

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More from Merriam-Webster on intangible

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for intangible

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with intangible

Spanish Central: Translation of intangible

Nglish: Translation of intangible for Spanish Speakers

Comments on intangible

What made you want to look up intangible? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


not to be intimidated or subdued

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