not tangible; incapable of being perceived by the sense of touch, as incorporeal or immaterial things; impalpable.
not definite or clear to the mind: intangible arguments.
(of an asset) existing only in connection with something else, as the goodwill of a business.


something intangible, especially an intangible asset: Intangibles are hard to value.

Origin of intangible

From the Medieval Latin word intangibilis, dating back to 1630–40. See in-3, tangible
Related formsin·tan·gi·bil·i·ty, in·tan·gi·ble·ness, nounin·tan·gi·bly, adverb

Synonyms for intangible Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Related Words for intangibly

hardly, indefinitely, slightly, vaguely

Examples from the Web for intangibly

Historical Examples of intangibly

  • Just now it was the expression of his face, intangibly different—or had she never taken the trouble to notice him before?

  • And each time he caught that passing look it touched him and intangibly drew him closer to her.

    The Silver Poppy

    Arthur Stringer

  • The change that had begun subtly, intangibly, was now a terrible and glaring difference.

  • Irresistibly urging, intangibly irritating, perpetually suggesting, they had prepared him for the dominion of Jane Holland.

    The Creators

    May Sinclair

  • The call upon the contessa left them both with an intangibly unpleasant sensation.

    The Spell

    William Dana Orcutt

British Dictionary definitions for intangibly



incapable of being perceived by touch; impalpable
imprecise or unclear to the mindintangible ideas
(of property or a business asset) saleable though not possessing intrinsic productive value


something that is intangible
Derived Formsintangibility or intangibleness, nounintangibly, adverb
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Word Origin and History for intangibly



1630s, "incapable of being touched," from French intangible (c.1500) or directly from Medieval Latin intangibilis, from in- "not" (see in- (1)) + Late Latin tangibilis "that may be touched" (see tangible). Figurative sense of "that cannot be grasped by the mind" is from 1880. Noun meaning "anything intangible" is from 1914. Related: Intangibly.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper