Definition of intelligence in English:

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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
More example sentences
  • 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, cyberespionage, humint
informal recon
2.1People employed in the collection of military or political information: British intelligence has secured numerous local informers
More example sentences
  • 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: /ɪntɛlɪˈdʒɛnʃ(ə)l/
adjective ( archaic)


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

Words that rhyme with intelligence


For editors and proofreaders

Line breaks: in|tel¦li|gence

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