View synonyms for intelligence


[ in-tel-i-juhns ]


  1. the capacity, especially of a particular person or animal, for learning, reasoning, understanding, and similar forms of mental activity; relative aptitude in grasping truths, relationships, meanings, etc.:

    I want my daughter’s teachers to nourish her intelligence and curiosity.

    Natasha was a chimpanzee of remarkable intelligence, a “genius” among her species.

  2. the demonstration or application of a high mental capacity:

    He writes with intelligence and wit.

    Synonyms: penetration, aptitude, acumen, reason, discernment

    Antonyms: stupidity

  3. the faculty of understanding, learning, or reasoning, considered generally:

    Are there hard limits to human intelligence?

    Some questions must be addressed not only with the intelligence but also with the heart.

  4. a particular aspect of the ability to perceive, understand, learn, and handle problems, as used in a specified way, area of life, activity, etc.: crystallized intelligence ( def ), fluid intelligence ( def ).

    The study examined the effect of emotional intelligence on organizational learning.

    I have no mechanical intelligence whatsoever.

  5. new or current knowledge or information, such as about specific events, conditions, trends, etc.:

    Feeds from 26 mall cameras are analyzed to provide vendors with actionable intelligence about shopping patterns.

  6. the gathering or distribution of information, especially secret information:

    I’ve decided to pursue a career in intelligence.

    His areas of focus include business intelligence, data management, and investment research.

  7. Government.
    1. information about an enemy or a potential enemy:

      We now have new intelligence about terrorist activity in the country.

    2. the evaluated conclusions drawn from such information.
    3. an organization or agency engaged in gathering such information:

      She works for military intelligence.

  8. interchange of information:

    They have been maintaining intelligence with foreign agents for years.

  9. Christian Science. a fundamental attribute of God, or infinite Mind.
  10. Often Intelligence. an intelligent being or spirit, especially one without a physical body, such as an angel or Supreme Being:

    He believes there is a creative Intelligence behind the universe.


/ ɪnˈtɛlɪdʒəns /


  1. the capacity for understanding; ability to perceive and comprehend meaning
  2. good mental capacity

    a person of intelligence

  3. old-fashioned.
    news; information
  4. military information about enemies, spies, etc
  5. a group or department that gathers or deals with such information
  6. often capital an intelligent being, esp one that is not embodied
  7. modifier of or relating to intelligence

    an intelligence network

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Derived Forms

  • inˌtelliˈgential, adjective

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Other Words From

  • hy·per·in·tel·li·gence noun
  • non·in·tel·li·gence noun
  • pre·in·tel·li·gence noun
  • su·per·in·tel·li·gence noun

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Word History and Origins

Origin of intelligence1

First recorded in 1350–1400; Middle English, from Latin intelligentia, from intelligent- (stem of intellegēns intelligent ) + -ia, noun suffix

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Word History and Origins

Origin of intelligence1

C14: from Latin intellegentia, from intellegere to discern, comprehend, literally: choose between, from inter- + legere to choose

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Synonym Study

See mind.

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Example Sentences

The company has published some of the research underpinning these different “biological clock” algorithms, many of which use artificial intelligence to make predictions based on the data, in peer-reviewed scientific journals.

From Fortune

One of the major selection pressures on humans was to outsmart each other, otherwise known as the Machiavellian intelligence hypothesis.

Clients are working with us very consultatively to extract intelligence on what’s on decision-makers’ minds.

From Digiday

Instead, Huang offered vaguer assurances that Nvidia will invest in an artificial intelligence research center in Cambridge, including building one of the world’s most powerful supercomputers there.

From Fortune

International organizations and corporations are racing to develop global guidelines for the ethical use of artificial intelligence.

According to a Yemeni intelligence source, Saïd met with the notorious U.S. preacher Anwar al Awlaki.

Current and former intelligence officials have said North Korea has long been a priority target for American spies.

“He was a brave field commander and an expert in intelligence, and in organizing popular and tribal forces,” said the eulogist.

My father was in an intelligence unit for the U.S. Navy, as he had been in World War II.

A fire that he insists is only picking up pace, according to top-secret intelligence briefings.

The startled operators at Umballa could obtain no further intelligence and the boy was slain at his post.

Odd differences, reflecting differences of intelligence, show themselves in the management of this diagram of the human face.

Frankly, we must say that this is inconceivably incompatible with Señor Paternoʼs clear intelligence.

Thomas Carr—one of the quiet, good men in a fast world—was an admirable companion, full of intelligence and conversation.

Just as the Admiral was going, Ward (of the Intelligence) crossed over with a nasty little damper.





intellectual propertyintelligence agency