capable of being touched; discernible by the touch; material or substantial.
real or actual, rather than imaginary or visionary: the tangible benefits of sunshine.
definite; not vague or elusive: no tangible grounds for suspicion.
(of an asset) having actual physical existence, as real estate or chattels, and therefore capable of being assigned a value in monetary terms.


something tangible, especially a tangible asset.

Origin of tangible

1580–90; < Late Latin tangibilis, equivalent to Latin tang(ere) to touch + -ibilis -ible
Related formstan·gi·bil·i·ty, tan·gi·ble·ness, nountan·gi·bly, adverbnon·tan·gi·ble, adjectivenon·tan·gi·ble·ness, nounnon·tan·gi·bly, adverbpre·tan·gi·ble, adjectivepre·tan·gi·bly, adverbqua·si-tan·gi·ble, adjectivequa·si-tan·gi·bly, adverbun·tan·gi·ble, adjective

Synonyms for tangible

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for tangible

Contemporary Examples of tangible

Historical Examples of tangible

  • It was quite as tangible as his money profits promised to be.

    The Spenders

    Harry Leon Wilson

  • Rosa's color and spirits had returned, at the sight of her tangible ally at the gate.

    Meadow Grass

    Alice Brown

  • Had she any tangible ground for believing that Calendar could be found in Queensborough?

    The Black Bag

    Louis Joseph Vance

  • On every side was the silence, pressing upon them with a tangible presence.

    White Fang

    Jack London

  • I take it that trustworthy and honest in tangible things are much the same.

    Jan and Her Job

    L. Allen Harker

British Dictionary definitions for tangible



capable of being touched or felt; having real substancea tangible object
capable of being clearly grasped by the mind; substantial rather than imaginarytangible evidence
having a physical existence; corporealtangible assets


(often plural) a tangible thing or asset
Derived Formstangibility or tangibleness, nountangibly, adverb

Word Origin for tangible

C16: from Late Latin tangibilis, from Latin tangere to touch
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 tangible

1580s, "capable of being touched," from Middle French tangible, from Late Latin tangibilis "that may be touched," from Latin tangere "to touch" (see tangent). Sense of "material" (e.g. tangible reward) is first recorded 1610s; that of "able to be realized or dealt with" is from 1709.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper