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

palpable, tactile, tangible, touchable

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Examples of intangible in a Sentence


Leadership is an intangible asset to a company. electrical energy is completely intangible

Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective

And, like the name suggests, there was an intangible comfort that came with having a ritual. Blake Bakkila, Good Housekeeping, "What Is Ritual? Everything You Need to Know About the Multivitamin That Cuts the Shady Extras," 1 May 2019 Advertising Taken together, the bans, purges and deletions of years’ worth of online material represent a loss that’s hard to absorb — blending the disappearance of intangible artifacts, art, music, communities and novel forms of communication. Hamza Shaban, The Seattle Times, "Loss of old Myspace artifacts highlights the impermanence of the web," 24 Mar. 2019 My advice here tends to be for brands to try to really engage with their consumers, build a community (not just a pool of random shoppers), and bring intangible things to the table, such as experiences, things that cannot be copied. Alyssa Hardy, Teen Vogue, "Imitation In Fashion is a Huge Problem, But It's Probably Not Going Anywhere," 13 Mar. 2019 Ohtani was even more captivated by the Harada Method Long-Term Goal Form, which has students come up with tangible and intangible reasons for pursuing a goal, both for one’s self and for society. Jared Diamond, WSJ, "How Shohei Ohtani Visualized His Baseball Success," 11 Sep. 2018 And for anyone unsatisfied with the intangible nature of the digital message, a physical version of the post was also on display to commemorate the momentous occasion. Chloe Foussianes, Town & Country, "Queen Elizabeth Posted on Instagram for the First Time, Featuring a Letter to Prince Albert," 7 Mar. 2019 But for me structure is something intangible, more closely related to the actual process of design. WSJ, "Grace Wales Bonner, Nicholas Hoult and More on Structure," 5 Dec. 2018 The War Stories format also cleverly echoes the intangible experience of hearing real war stories told, which often walk the line between real historical accounts and tales stretched tall by time. T.c. Sottek, The Verge, "Battlefield V’s single-player stories are the right way to do war games," 20 Nov. 2018 Part of the value of the UNESCO World Heritage designation includes the ‘intangible heritage’ of people. Patrick Sisson, Curbed, "San Antonio, the nation’s fastest-growing city, sees downtown rebound," 23 Oct. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

And pundits and former players continue to chip away at the intangibles, looking for cracks in the foundation and wondering whether this generation of Frenchmen will succumb to the distractions or selfishness that bedeviled many predecessors. Brian Straus,, "France Keeps Growing Into a World Cup It's Talented Enough to Win," 26 June 2018 Note: Tangible value of net assets excludes goodwill and other intangibles. Michael Rapoport, WSJ, "How GE Built Up and Wrote Down $22 Billion in Assets," 13 Mar. 2019 Millennials, who are about to become America’s largest generation, also tend to care more about intangibles like good service, one analyst told Morning Consult. Rachel Sugar, Vox, "The controversial conservative chain is poised to become the third-largest fast-food brand in the US this year.," 20 Dec. 2018 There also can be little doubt that intangibles have grown in importance. Mark Hulbert, WSJ, "Why the Traditional Way of Measuring ‘Value’ Stocks May Be History," 9 Sep. 2018 Last week, all the intangibles favored WSU over Oregon (the Ducks were coming off a huge game, the Cougars had extra rest and a frenzied home crowd). Scott Hanson, The Seattle Times, "No. 14 WSU football at No. 24 Stanford: What to watch for — and a prediction," 26 Oct. 2018 And given the likely continued rise in the role of intangibles in corporate value creation, the decline in the usefulness of financial reports is all but certain to persist. Mark Hulbert, WSJ, "Why the Traditional Way of Measuring ‘Value’ Stocks May Be History," 9 Sep. 2018 Ultimately, a lot of Artifact's hopes will ride on the kind of intangibles that can't be felt out by a promising demo. Sam Machkovech, Ars Technica, "Exclusive: Valve walks us through Artifact’s new demo, leaves us wanting more," 31 Aug. 2018 Yet under accounting rules in place since the 1970s, intangibles are expensed rather than capitalized — unless they were acquired. Bloomberg,, "What's a stock worth? In the new economy, traditional accounting has its critics," 8 June 2018

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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Statistics for intangible

Last Updated

9 May 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for intangible

The first known use of intangible was in 1640

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More Definitions for intangible



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

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with intangible

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for 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).


to move with exaggerated bouncy motions

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