in·tan·gi·ble | \ (ˌ)in-ˈtan-jə-bəl \

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 \ noun
intangibleness \in-ˈtan-jə-bəl-nəs \ noun
intangibly \in-ˈtan-jə-blē \ 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

For example, a sense of humor is an intangible that many people buy. Steve Jagler, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Jagler: The Cold Call Coach helps salespeople maximize their first impression with prospective customers," 13 July 2018 Not recognizing intangible assets can push down profits and book value in businesses that depend on research and marketing, which are increasingly important in the global knowledge economy. Bloomberg,, "What's a stock worth? In the new economy, traditional accounting has its critics," 8 June 2018 The intangible, though, is the increasing quality of the music. Chuck Yarborough,, "Tropidelic, Leftover Salmon get the jams going: Also Playing," 8 May 2018 Digital companies rely on intangible assets such as software algorithms, the IMF said., "Should Facebook Pay More in Taxes? IMF Wades Into Thorny Debate," 12 Apr. 2018 Rogers not only received tangible gifts from Interfaith Hospitality Network, but also intangible support. Laura A. Hobson,, "Interfaith Hospitality Network: A circle of community concern," 17 June 2018 That intangible authenticity that the story of the watch is reserved with that soot still in it. Cam Wolf, GQ, "Steve McQueen’s Destroyed-in-a-Wildfire Rolex Is Going Up for Auction," 5 June 2018 There is something here, that is intangible, that can’t be matched. Fortune, "Nationwide," 27 June 2018 Cryptocurrencies might be intangible, but that doesn’t stop them from sucking up an inordinate amount of energy. Liz Stinson, Curbed, "Shipping containers are now being used for cryptocurrency mining," 22 June 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

And the intangibles are what coaches look for in young, undrafted players. Mike Persak,, "Panthers' Jake Horton has done everything to try to achieve his NHL dream," 29 June 2018 Although his offensive production has fluctuated, the Padres are among those with high regard for Hosmer, who also draws praise for his intangibles. Dennis Lin,, "Padres meet with free agent Eric Hosmer," 8 Dec. 2017 Family works in his favor from intangibles standpoint. Will Mccollister,, "Pacers Select Aaron Holiday with No. 23 Pick in 2018 NBA Draft," 21 June 2018 The significance of intangibles comes up over and over when Southgate speaks. Brian Straus,, "England's New Three Lions Appear to Be a Different Animal at This World Cup," 24 June 2018 Tuesday’s shootout win was cathartic and cleansing, and highlighted the intangibles this squad seems to possess that its predecessors lacked. Brian Straus,, "Quarterfinal Stage a Narrative Tipping Point for World Cup Contenders," 5 July 2018 Walker has been pleased with the intangibles Blount, who signed a one year, $2 million contract in March, has brought to the running backs room, from his leadership to past experience playing for teams with a winning culture. Orion Sang, Detroit Free Press, "Detroit Lions hoping LeGarrette Blount becomes short yardage go-to guy," 29 May 2018 His intangibles will have to cover for average athleticism. Jeremy Woo,, "2019 NBA Draft Big Board: Top 60 Prospects," 27 June 2018 Comparison: Randy Foye Robinson’s perimeter scoring ability and intangibles should help him find an eventual place in someone’s rotation. Jeremy Woo,, "2018 NBA Draft: Jerome Robinson Scouting Report and Highlights," 18 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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Last Updated

29 Aug 2018

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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 \

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 \

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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