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

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 Sirajuddin Haqqani, head of the militant Haqqani network and labeled a terrorist by the F.B.I., was appointed acting minister of the interior, overseeing police, intelligence and other security forces. New York Times, 13 Jan. 2022 Certain careers — such as missile defense crew, special forces, signals intelligence and fire control specialists who coordinate battlefield weapons operations — can often come with the maximum bonuses. Fox News, 13 Jan. 2022 Certain careers — such as missile defense crew, special forces, signals intelligence and fire control specialists who coordinate battlefield weapons operations — can often come with the maximum bonuses. Lolita C. Baldor, Anchorage Daily News, 12 Jan. 2022 This is an incredible person full of love, intelligence and compassion who just gets overwhelmed by anxiety and cannot see it. Washington Post, 12 Jan. 2022 Certain careers — such as missile defense crew, special forces, signals intelligence and fire control specialists who coordinate battlefield weapons operations — can often come with the maximum bonuses. CBS News, 12 Jan. 2022 Yet China, for now at least, doesn’t have the military or intelligence capabilities to protect its regional allies in their hour of need. Yaroslav Trofimov, WSJ, 10 Jan. 2022 Artificial intelligence and next generation sensors are what make the collar the first of its kind, according to Invoxia. Demetrius Simms, Robb Report, 7 Jan. 2022 The pictures below demonstrate his awareness, intelligence and ability. Lance Reisland, cleveland, 7 Jan. 2022

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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Time Traveler for intelligence

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

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Dictionary Entries Near intelligence

intellectual virtue

intelligence

intelligenced

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Statistics for intelligence

Last Updated

16 Jan 2022

Cite this Entry

“Intelligence.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/intelligence. Accessed 19 Jan. 2022.

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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 intelligence (audio) \ adjective
intelligently adverb

More from Merriam-Webster on intelligence

Nglish: Translation of intelligence for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of intelligence for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about intelligence

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