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  1. capable of being understood; comprehensible; clear: an intelligible response.
  2. Philosophy. apprehensible by the mind only; conceptual.
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Origin of intelligible

1350–1400; Middle English < Latin intelligibilis, equivalent to intellig- (see intelligent) + -ibilis -ible
Related formsin·tel·li·gi·ble·ness, nounin·tel·li·gi·bly, adverbhalf-in·tel·li·gi·ble, adjectivehalf-in·tel·li·gi·bly, adverbself-in·tel·li·gi·ble, adjectivesem·i-in·tel·li·gi·ble, adjectivesem·i-in·tel·li·gi·bly, adverb
Can be confusedintelligent intelligible intellectual (see synonym study at intelligent)

Synonyms for intelligible

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Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words for intelligible

comprehensible, clear, distinct, knowable, lucid, luminous, obvious, open, plain, unambiguous, unequivocal, unmistakable, fathomable, apprehensible, graspable

Examples from the Web for intelligible

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Historical Examples of intelligible

British Dictionary definitions for intelligible


  1. able to be understood; comprehensible
  2. philosophy
    1. capable of being apprehended by the mind or intellect alone
    2. (in metaphysical systems such as those of Plato or Kant) denoting that metaphysical realm which is accessible to the intellect as opposed to the world of mere phenomena accessible to the senses
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Derived Formsintelligibility or intelligibleness, nounintelligibly, adverb

Word Origin for intelligible

C14: from Latin intellegibilis; see intellect
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 intelligible


late 14c., "able to understand," from Latin intelligibilis, intellegibilis "that can understand, that can be understood," from intellegere "to understand" (see intelligence). In English, sense of "capable of being understood" first recorded c.1600. Related: Intelligibly.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper