[ in-tel-i-juhns ]
/ ɪnˈtɛl ɪ dʒəns /


Nearby words

  1. intellectualism,
  2. intellectuality,
  3. intellectualization,
  4. intellectualize,
  5. intellectually handicapped,
  6. intelligence agency,
  7. intelligence office,
  8. intelligence officer,
  9. intelligence quotient,
  10. intelligence test

Origin of intelligence

First recorded in 1350–1400; Middle English word from Latin word intelligentia. See intelligent, -ence

SYNONYMS FOR intelligence
1. See mind. 2. discernment, reason, acumen, aptitude, penetration.

Related formshy·per·in·tel·li·gence, nounnon·in·tel·li·gence, nounpre·in·tel·li·gence, nounsu·per·in·tel·li·gence, noun Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for intelligence

British Dictionary definitions for intelligence


/ (ɪnˈtɛlɪdʒəns) /


Derived Formsintelligential, adjective

Word Origin for intelligence

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

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 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.).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Medicine definitions for intelligence


[ ĭn-tĕlə-jəns ]


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.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.