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

Kensington Palace shared the news on Twitter and on its official website, including a breakdown of how Will spent his three weeks in intelligence. Kayleigh Roberts, Marie Claire, "Prince William Reveals He's Gone Undercover with UK Spy Agencies," 7 Apr. 2019 That intelligence won’t just be applied to Windows’ built-in Feedback Hub, but also to Twitter and other social media. Mark Hachman, PCWorld, "Microsoft will ship the Windows 10 May 2019 Update in late May, giving you power over updates," 4 Apr. 2019 Turkey may be trying to protect its intelligence sources through leaking this way, analysts say. Fox News, "Newspaper says Turkey has audio of Saudi writer's slaying," 14 Oct. 2018 Here’s a simple example of this theory, in which a laser used during tattoo removal damages a digital camera sensor: HELIOS has a long-range intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance capability. Kyle Mizokami, Popular Mechanics, "The Navy Plans to Put HELIOS Laser Weapon on Destroyer by 2021," 21 Mar. 2019 The Queen met with Bletchley Park veterans, those who served in intelligence and code breaking during World War II, including codebreaker Ruth Bourne. Caroline Hallemann, Town & Country, "Queen Elizabeth Makes Her First Official Public Appearance of 2019," 14 Feb. 2019 Instead, they're used for surveillance, communications, administrative support, intelligence, analysis and the installation of border security infrastructure. Jennifer Earl, Fox News, "Trump would not be first president to send National Guard soldiers to US-Mexico border," 2 Oct. 2018 CBS News also obtained the release, which explained Flynn would be the director of global strategy, orchestrating the firm's business development and offering advice on international military, intelligence and peacekeeping work. Kathryn Watson, CBS News, "Michael Flynn's lawyers say he hasn't joined lobbying firm, hours after firm's announcement," 10 July 2018 Chelsea Manning, the former US army intelligence officer who released classified documents to Wikileaks in 2010 and subsequently imprisoned, has been taken into custody for contempt of court. Bridget Read, Vogue, "Chelsea Manning Taken Into Custody for Refusing to Testify in Sealed Court Case," 8 Mar. 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

14 Apr 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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