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

Brown’s hustle tape is another sign of intangible culture change that may ultimately yield tangible improvement. Tim Sullivan, The Courier-Journal, "Louisville football's culture change means accountability and effort are back," 10 Aug. 2019 In this case, earnings are measured before interest, taxes, depreciation (of physical assets) and amortization (of intangible assets like music rights). Glenn Peoples, Billboard, "Did Scooter Braun Overpay for Big Machine Label Group? Not at All," 29 July 2019 Rick Hayduk, StuyTown’s general manager, said that although the savings would flow to the management company, there could be intangible benefits for residents. Patrick Mcgeehan, New York Times, "How New York City Is Turning Its Thousands of Roofs Into Power Providers," 10 July 2019 With this project, and all of his work, Udink ten Crate tries not to make more design that ends up in a waste stream, but use design to enrich experiences in intangible ways. Diana Budds, Curbed, "How design is being upended by the climate crisis," 9 July 2019 Less susceptible to the quantitative precision of thermodynamics was the intangible sense of beauty, romance and mystery created over the area by the cloak of fog. Martin Weil, Washington Post, "Washington region temperatures hit record high, break record low just five days apart," 12 Jan. 2018 Sheriff’s deputies reported property stolen included intangible personal identifying information and a white, four-door sedan valued at $12,000. Ramona Sentinel, "Sheriff’s Reports: July 14-20," 23 July 2019 Growth is slow but more stable as activity has shifted to services and intangible assets. The Economist, "America’s expansion is now the longest on record," 11 July 2019 That said, public buildings meant for public use should be accessible, and these days accessibility includes lowering intangible, informational barriers as well as physical ones. Susan Crawford, WIRED, "The Challenge of Helping Blind People Navigate Indoors," 25 June 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Schooler will be missed as much for his intangibles as his production., "Who replaces Brenden Schooler as Oregon’s starting flanker? Ducks have at least 3-way battle," 7 Aug. 2019 The 23-year-old Texan’s swagger is one of the intangibles that, combined with a smoking fastball and dastardly change-up, makes a special night seem possible any time his turn in the rotation comes up. San Diego Union-Tribune, "Paddack takes no-hitter into eighth, Padres hold on to beat Marlins," 18 July 2019 The biggest questions about him aren’t skill but his intangibles, such as heart and fire. J. Michael, Indianapolis Star, "Despite an unpredictable NBA Draft coming up, Pacers ready to pounce at No. 18," 17 June 2019 Orsborn: Carroll brings a lot of glue-guy intangibles to the team and a variety of skills, including the ability to stretch the floor offensively. Nick Talbot,, "Writers’ Roundtable: Breaking down the Spurs free agent signings," 6 July 2019 At 5-11, he’s considered undersized for the NBA, but his skill level, quickness, defensive tenacity, court sense and intangibles are high. Dom Amore,, "NBA Draft: UConn’s Jalen Adams, Yale’s Miye Oni, New Haven’s Tremont Waters among local hopefuls," 19 June 2019 Those intangibles can only be found with diversity and, in my mind, are essential in any successful organization. Rusty Simmons,, "Warriors among leaders in hiring women execs, but ‘still a lot of work to be done’," 9 June 2019 Instead, remember the display of intangibles on display at Roaracle. Dieter Kurtenbach, The Mercury News, "Kurtenbach: Warriors had the championship heart, just not the championship bodies," 13 June 2019 Early on, Tom saw in Brad a work ethic, intangibles and a toughness. Marc Bona,, "Father’s Day 2019: For Indians broadcaster Tom Hamilton and son Brad baseball is a special bond," 12 June 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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Statistics for intangible

Last Updated

15 Aug 2019

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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).


a usually brief trip or an expedition

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