- capacity for learning, reasoning, understanding, and similar forms of mental activity; aptitude in grasping truths, relationships, facts, meanings, etc.
- manifestation of a high mental capacity: He writes with intelligence and wit.
- the faculty of understanding.
- knowledge of an event, circumstance, etc., received or imparted; news; information.
- the gathering or distribution of information, especially secret information.
- information about an enemy or a potential enemy.
- the evaluated conclusions drawn from such information.
- an organization or agency engaged in gathering such information: military intelligence; naval intelligence.
- interchange of information: They have been maintaining intelligence with foreign agents for years.
- Christian Science. a fundamental attribute of God, or infinite Mind.
- (often initial capital letter) an intelligent being or spirit, especially an incorporeal one, as an angel.
Origin of intelligence
SynonymsSee more synonyms on Thesaurus.com
Examples from the Web for intelligence
According to a Yemeni intelligence source, Saïd met with the notorious U.S. preacher Anwar al Awlaki.France Kills Charlie Hebdo Murderers
January 9, 2015
“He was a brave field commander and an expert in intelligence, and in organizing popular and tribal forces,” said the eulogist.What an Iranian Funeral Tells Us About the Wars in Iraq
January 6, 2015
My father was in an intelligence unit for the U.S. Navy, as he had been in World War II.The Story Behind Lee Marvin’s Liberty Valance Smile
January 3, 2015
They eye the door anxiously, convinced that at any moment, a Pakistani or Iranian intelligence officer will come barging in.
Some in the intelligence community seem to have followed through on that plan.
As if you could be trusted with anything again that needs a schoolboy's intelligence.The Spenders
Harry Leon Wilson
Your listening Hannah has given you this intelligence, as she does many others.Clarissa, Volume 1 (of 9)
What that truth may be, we leave to the intelligence of the reader to divine.
I felt this the more when to the concept of Infinitude I added that of Intelligence.The Conquest of Fear
Let me know any intelligence you may gain of the enemy's strength or movements.A Sketch of the Life of Brig. Gen. Francis Marion
William Dobein James
- the capacity for understanding; ability to perceive and comprehend meaning
- good mental capacitya person of intelligence
- old-fashioned news; information
- military information about enemies, spies, etc
- a group or department that gathers or deals with such information
- (often capital) an intelligent being, esp one that is not embodied
- (modifier) of or relating to intelligencean intelligence network
Word Origin and History for intelligence
late 14c., "faculty of understanding," from Old French intelligence (12c.), from Latin intelligentia, intellegentia "understanding, power of discerning; art, skill, taste," from intelligentem (nominative intelligens) "discerning," present participle of intelligere "to understand, comprehend," from inter- "between" (see inter-) + legere "choose, pick out, read" (see lecture (n.)).
Meaning superior understanding, sagacity" is from early 15c. Sense of "information, news" first recorded mid-15c., especially "secret information from spies" (1580s). Intelligence quotient first recorded 1921 (see I.Q.).
- The capacity to acquire and apply knowledge, especially toward a purposeful goal.
- An individual's relative standing on two quantitative indices, namely measured intelligence, as expressed by an intelligence quotient, and effectiveness of adaptive behavior.