Definition of intelligence in English:


Line breaks: in|tel¦li|gence
Pronunciation: /ɪnˈtɛlɪdʒ(ə)ns


[mass noun]
  • 1The ability to acquire and apply knowledge and skills: an eminent man of great intelligence
    More example sentences
    • The authors will all be invited to write for the series because they don't underestimate readers' intelligence nor overestimate their knowledge.
    • Given the talent, intelligence, and skill possessed by Indians, why was their country still weak, still on the margins of international affairs?
    • He points out that where such extreme early deprivation is followed by nurturant care there is some improvement in speech, intelligence and social skills.
    intellectual/mental capacity, intellect, mind, brain, brains, brainpower, powers of reasoning, judgement, reason, reasoning, understanding, comprehension, acumen, wit, sense, insight, perceptiveness, perception, perspicaciousness, perspicacity, penetration, discernment, sharpness, quickness of mind, quick-wittedness, smartness, canniness, astuteness, intuition, acuity, alertness, cleverness, brilliance, aptness, ability, giftedness, talent
    informal braininess
  • 1.1 [count noun] A person or being with the ability to acquire and apply knowledge and skills: extraterrestrial intelligences
    More example sentences
    • A professor in Australia wants to study junk DNA sequences to see if they may be descrambled to contain communications from extraterrestrial intelligences.
    • One important aspect of the surge in information-processing ability displayed on Earth in recent years is the way it should revolutionize our ideas about what extraterrestrial intelligences would do.
    • I have a series of dreams in a similar ‘style’, which involve interactions with extra terrestrial intelligences where I seem to be maintaining another life entirely.
  • 2The collection of information of military or political value: the chief of military intelligence
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    • Most of the abused prisoners had no military intelligence value, Special Agent Worth said.
    • If you're in the military reconnaissance or intelligence business, you already know the value of real-time information.
    • He is a former British soldier who was ordered by military intelligence chiefs to infiltrate the IRA.
    information gathering, surveillance, observation, reconnaissance, spying, espionage, undercover work, infiltration, ELINT, humint
    informal recon
  • 2.1People employed in the collection of military or political information: British intelligence has secured numerous local informers
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    • And, we don't need Washington to tell us whether Khan was a double agent for Pakistani intelligence.
    • Barbouti is suspected of having been a double agent for British intelligence and the Iraqi regime.
    • Others continued to regard it as a crucial élite and the means by which to defeat British intelligence and secure arms contacts.
  • 2.2Military or political information: the gathering of intelligence
    More example sentences
    • It has also stepped up the gathering of information and intelligence on petitioners to better identify the sources of tension, sources said.
    • The police must be trained in sound techniques of gathering and sharing intelligence, assembling evidence and scrupulously following procedure.
    • Ortega folded his arms, taking comfort in the fact that this brutal method of gathering intelligence was for the better of South America, and the world.
  • 2.3 archaic Information in general; news.



Pronunciation: /-ˈdʒɛnʃ(ə)l/
adjective ( • archaic )


late Middle English: via Old French from Latin intelligentia, from intelligere 'understand' (see intelligent).

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Pronunciation: ˌkɒlərəˈtjʊərə
elaborate ornamentation of a vocal melody