intelligence

noun
in·​tel·​li·​gence | \ in-ˈte-lə-jən(t)s How to pronounce intelligence (audio) \

Definition of intelligence

1a(1) : the ability to learn or understand or to deal with new or trying situations : reason also : the skilled use of reason
(2) : the ability to apply knowledge to manipulate one's environment or to think abstractly as measured by objective criteria (such as tests)
c : mental acuteness : shrewdness
b Christian Science : the basic eternal quality of divine Mind
b : information concerning an enemy or possible enemy or an area also : an agency engaged in obtaining such information
3 : the act of understanding : comprehension
4 : the ability to perform computer functions
5a : intelligent minds or mind cosmic intelligence
b : an intelligent entity especially : angel

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Examples of intelligence in a Sentence

She impressed us with her superior intelligence. a person of average intelligence gathering intelligence about a neighboring country's activities
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Recent Examples on the Web

The software also provides sales intelligence and data analytics, among other features. Carolyne Corelis, San Diego Union-Tribune, "Local billionaire Ernest Rady backs San Diego tech startup Assurance," 6 June 2019 David has the intelligence and drive to get back to school. Robyn Merrett, PEOPLE.com, "Homeless Texas Man Returns to College to Finish Degree Over 40 Years After Dropping Out," 5 June 2019 Through grammar judgments, Fox said, listeners might make assumptions about the speaker’s intelligence or class background. Cassie Owens, https://www.inquirer.com, "Philly judges discuss language access following study of court reporters," 5 June 2019 Having spent more than a decade heading one of Chávez’s main intelligence agencies, Carvajal is believed to hold some of the most damaging secrets of the Venezuelan regime. Antonio Maria Delgado, miamiherald, "Venezuela’s former spy chief: Maduro spends thousands on Santeria sacrifices in Cuba," 4 June 2019 But with speed, grace, intelligence and a fine finishing touch, Morgan has joined elite company. Steve Goff, courant.com, "The stars to watch at the Women’s World Cup," 4 June 2019 The first was the official report from the Senate Intelligence Committee supporting the conclusion of three U.S. intelligence agencies that determined that Donald Trump was helped by the Russians in the 2016 election. NBC News, "Meet the Press - July 8, 2018," 8 July 2018 Look, one of the driving ideas in The Big Bang Theory is intelligence is not an asset in so many aspects of life. Jessica Radloff, Glamour, "The Big Bang Theory," 17 May 2019 Last year, Cortana’s then-chief Javier Soltero talked about how Cortana’s intelligence would be distributed among various apps. Mark Hachman, PCWorld, "Microsoft's Cortana concept demo portrays her as a smart, competent AI assistant for the office," 6 May 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'intelligence.' 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 intelligence

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a(1)

History and Etymology for intelligence

Middle English, from Middle French, from Latin intelligentia, from intelligent-, intelligens intelligent

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Statistics for intelligence

Last Updated

9 Jun 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for intelligence

The first known use of intelligence was in the 14th century

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More Definitions for intelligence

intelligence

noun

English Language Learners Definition of intelligence

: the ability to learn or understand things or to deal with new or difficult situations
: secret information that a government collects about an enemy or possible enemy also : a government organization that collects such information

intelligence

noun
in·​tel·​li·​gence | \ in-ˈte-lə-jəns How to pronounce intelligence (audio) \

Kids Definition of intelligence

1 : the ability to learn and understand The test measures intelligence.
2 : secret information collected about an enemy or a possible enemy

intelligence

noun
in·​tel·​li·​gence | \ in-ˈtel-ə-jən(t)s How to pronounce intelligence (audio) \

Medical Definition of intelligence

1a : the ability to learn or understand or to deal with new or trying situations
b : the ability to apply knowledge to manipulate one's environment or to think abstractly as measured by objective criteria (as tests)
2 : mental acuteness

Other Words from intelligence

intelligent \ in-​ˈtel-​ə-​jənt How to pronounce intelligent (audio) \ adjective
intelligently adverb

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Comments on intelligence

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