in·​tel·​li·​gi·​ble | \ in-ˈte-lə-jə-bəl How to pronounce intelligible (audio) \

Definition of intelligible

1 : capable of being understood or comprehended jargon intelligible only to the initiated
2 : apprehensible by the intellect only

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Other Words from intelligible

intelligibility \ in-​ˌte-​lə-​jə-​ˈbi-​lə-​tē How to pronounce intelligibility (audio) \ noun
intelligibleness \ in-​ˈte-​lə-​jə-​bəl-​nəs How to pronounce intelligibleness (audio) \ noun
intelligibly \ in-​ˈte-​lə-​jə-​blē How to pronounce intelligibly (audio) \ adverb

Examples of intelligible in a Sentence

the ability to make complex concepts intelligible to the average reader Very little of the recording was intelligible.

Recent Examples on the Web

As the Department of Home Affairs outlined in a recent paper: The Bill introduces a suite of measures that will improve the ability of agencies to access intelligible communications content and data. Cyrus Farivar, Ars Technica, "Australian gov’t wants to force tech firms to weaken crypto," 15 Aug. 2018 Six aluminum plates on the walls, engraved with fragments of not-quite-intelligible text, are filled in with marzipan. New York Times, "What to See in New York Art Galleries This Week," 14 Feb. 2018 The author somehow makes his discussion of bizarre phenomena (such as the way rotation actually distorts space) just about as intelligible and entertaining as the fantasy. John Gribbin, WSJ, "‘The Ascent of Gravity’ and ‘On Gravity’ Review: From Falling Apples to Black Holes," 11 May 2018 Andries put on music—flutes and vocals without intelligible words or a beat. Moises Velasquez-manoff, WIRED, "Ketamine Stirs Up Hope—and Controversy—as a Depression Drug," 8 May 2018 He was saved by the writings of Carl Jung, which taught that the world was not meaningless but made intelligible by recurring cultural patterns: myths. Jeet Heer, The New Republic, "Jordan Peterson’s Tired Old Myths," 21 May 2018 Part of what makes Holt so exciting is his ability to gather these disciplines under his shingle, to make their knottiest questions not only intelligible but enticing, without sacrificing rigor. Parul Sehgal, New York Times, "Essays That Make Sense of the Infinite and the Infinitesimal," 15 May 2018 In a small but effective artistic choice, characters talk in crackling, subtitled glossolalia, punctuated only by the occasional intelligible word. Adi Robertson, The Verge, "Paratopic is a short, grimy horror game with a style straight out of 1998," 29 Apr. 2018 If a prophet is one who interprets in clear and intelligible language the will of God, Martin Luther King Jr. fits that designation. Time Staff, Time, "Only One Official Eulogy Was Delivered at Martin Luther King Jr.'s Public Funeral. Read the Full Text Here," 4 Apr. 2018

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

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 2

History and Etymology for intelligible

Middle English, from Latin intelligibilis, from intelligere

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Time Traveler for intelligible

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

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English Language Learners Definition of intelligible

: able to be understood especially : clear enough to be heard, read, etc.


in·​tel·​li·​gi·​ble | \ in-ˈte-lə-jə-bəl How to pronounce intelligible (audio) \

Kids Definition of intelligible

: possible to understand Her message was barely intelligible.

Other Words from intelligible

intelligibly \ -​blē \ adverb

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Comments on intelligible

What made you want to look up intelligible? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


to move with exaggerated bouncy motions

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