Definition of intangible in English:

intangible

adjective

  • 1Unable to be touched; not having physical presence.

    ‘the moonlight made things seem intangible’
    • ‘These are intangible things that we believe are genuine dividends of a good design program.’
    • ‘I point this out to establish my credibility in remarking on what I consider to be one of his most seminal intangible traits - his ambition.’
    • ‘You don't sell your soul to this thing that's totally intangible and completely invisible.’
    • ‘But it sees the future not in plastic and chips but something more intangible - the coming interconnectivity of the world.’
    • ‘Yet the apparent paradox of associating touch with something that is intangible and impalpable is not as odd as it might seem.’
    • ‘It stands to reason then that intangible means not tangible, unable to touch, or impalpable.’
    • ‘But when the body is discarded its texture becomes intangible.’
    • ‘There is a slight nod, a ghostly intangible feeling of her gloved palm against my cheek, and a sensation of motherly warmth.’
    • ‘It would, in other words, accelerate what will probably happen anyway: the separation of that intangible bond between America and Europe.’
    • ‘I sometimes wonder if it's because music is intangible that people forget that there are many more costs involved than merely manufacturing a piece of plastic.’
    • ‘Perhaps that's the way it always goes when it comes to the intangible threats of toxic chemicals and dangerous levels of radioactivity.’
    • ‘His own image is usually part of the ensemble, but often appears ghostly and intangible compared with the heavy sparkle of the box itself.’
    • ‘Thus, the winner, despite the monetary gratification, can never have the intangible but necessary spiritual satisfaction of having earned the money.’
    • ‘And I think there are more things in heaven and earth than we can imagine in our philosophy, but it's wrong simply to deny it because it's intangible and we can't touch it.’
    • ‘It morphed into this gigantic, intangible thing that loomed distantly, shadowing our eventual departure from the college, and colouring our future plans.’
    • ‘The notion of an invisible, intangible threat that comes out of the air has already exerted a powerful influence through panics about mobile phone masts or electric power lines.’
    • ‘And, monetary gifts aren't enough, but intangible power, presence, and influence as well.’
    • ‘All talk about an ‘invisible, intangible spirit’ and of its ‘being there’ is devoid of any empirical sense.’
    • ‘People are physically distinct, and their spirituality is an intangible entity; that is why we do not readily perceive the spiritual forces that unite us.’
    • ‘The minute you walk in, you feel an intangible presence.’
    impalpable, untouchable, imperceptible to the touch, non-physical, bodiless, incorporeal, unembodied, disembodied, abstract, invisible
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    1. 1.1 Difficult or impossible to define or understand; vague and abstract.
      ‘the rose symbolized something intangible about their relationship’
      • ‘One of the biggest problems many people seem to have is defining it, because it's still so new and relatively intangible.’
      • ‘Images can express an experience that language can't capture: that intangible, indefinable moment when we encounter the Spirit.’
      • ‘Overall, it has an intangible quality that I have difficulty explaining but nonetheless am drawn to.’
      • ‘But more importantly, discovering the complexities of vanilla brings home the truly complex and intangible relationship we share with food.’
      • ‘Presidential power is very personal and, as such, its nature is intangible, elusive, and mysterious.’
      • ‘It is something talismanic, totemic, intangible, all-consuming, corrosive, compulsive, elusive, indefinable.’
      • ‘Something intangible that you know is wrong but can't really define it.’
      • ‘With the new relationships, however, some of the favorable effects are intangible and more difficult to quantify and critique.’
      • ‘Whitman might have added that nothing so intangible and difficult may be adequately taught at any rate, and that poetry is therefore in no danger of being taught to death.’
      • ‘It was something intangible, indescribable, but it was there, like a secret hidden in his smile that no one but those close enough to hear the whispers of the wind could understand.’
      • ‘Often the benefits of lean thinking are considered intangible and difficult to quantify.’
      • ‘It is hard, sometimes intangible, and difficult to sell to donors.’
      • ‘Sometimes how design improves our lives comes down to elusive, intangible emotions or feelings.’
      • ‘Lydia was used to thinking in intangible, theoretical abstracts - not in the brutal world of tangible human realities.’
      • ‘Clients are quick to discuss designs' more abstract and intangible qualities.’
      • ‘Hard is a mysterious, intangible personality trait that belies definition.’
      • ‘Don't they sound just a little bit vague, intangible, or unclear?’
      indefinable, indescribable, inexpressible, nameless
      View synonyms
    2. 1.2 (of an asset or benefit) not constituting or represented by a physical object and of a value not precisely measurable.
      ‘intangible business property like patents’
      • ‘Given its hazy nature, goodwill is designated as an intangible asset.’
      • ‘Like the intangible assets measure, we computed export intensity as a five-year moving average.’
      • ‘There are no intangible assets on the balance sheet which might have helped to explain the extraordinary price.’
      • ‘A company's book value is its net asset value minus its intangible assets, current liabilities, long-term debt and equity issues.’
      • ‘Physical as opposed to intangible assets in businesses in advanced economies such as Ireland's are reducing in importance.’
      • ‘The balance sheet also includes intangible assets of $1.18 billion and long-term debt of $2 billion.’
      • ‘Because many biotechnology firms do not have any revenues and their assets are usually intangible, the best measure of firm size in this industry is a headcount.’
      • ‘Intellectual property law has to do with intangible assets, things like words, phrases, logos, and pictures.’
      • ‘How did intangible assets come to play such a central role at so many companies?’
      • ‘It argued that the asset test wasn't relevant to start-up companies spending heavily on research and development, most of whose assets are intangible.’
      • ‘Another point is that the cost and value of goods and services include an ever-increasing percentage of intangible assets.’
      • ‘If they had access to the inside information about intangible assets that managers have, it could only get worse.’
      • ‘Here is a place to start: try calculating the total value of a company's intangible assets.’
      • ‘This is because the intangible assets such as goodwill are included in the shareholders' funds figure.’
      • ‘I'm not suggesting that intangible assets should be ignored.’
      • ‘Adjusted net earnings, of course, excludes the after-tax impact of amortisation of intangible assets and integration costs related to acquisitions.’
      • ‘Is the future earning potential of your business an intangible asset?’
      • ‘But, on average, intangible assets now represent about 80 percent of the market value of public companies.’
      • ‘This means that most of the backing for the share price is goodwill, an intangible asset.’
      • ‘If the purchase price exceeds the book value of the acquired company, an intangible asset or ‘goodwill’ is created on the balance sheet.’

noun

usually intangibles
  • An intangible thing.

    ‘intangibles like self-confidence and responsibility’
    • ‘Senior Editor Gross writes about research, patents, and other intangibles.’
    • ‘What about those intangibles that could make us all so much happier: income security and increased leisure?’
    • ‘There are always other factors, other variables, intangibles sometimes, which really make the difference.’
    • ‘Companies do this with stocks and bonds but not with intangibles.’
    • ‘Brand boosters like Business Week hold that the power of brands lies in the intangibles that distinguish one firm's offering from another.’
    • ‘Plus you have the intangibles, like a personal feeling of accomplishment and the fact that you get to use the table saw.’
    • ‘This puts a number on how much of a company's current value is built on that most intangible of intangibles - expectations.’
    • ‘The story explores how rules get made or changed and how environmental intangibles are quantified.’
    • ‘These are all the intangibles that we have to overcome.’
    • ‘While we may work on intangibles such as pride of the people, pride of being self-determined, we've always asked the question, what's it for?’
    • ‘The intangibles, family readiness, morale of troops, those type of things are hard to measure.’
    • ‘Ultimately, our pick came down to something we usually pay lip service to yet never really consider, intangibles.’
    • ‘It just means that there are all sorts of intangibles that go into these things.’
    • ‘What extraordinarily powerful intangibles professionals leave off the bottom line.’
    • ‘There are still some intangibles that I can't quite wrap my mind around.’
    • ‘He has the intangibles that often separate one player from another.’
    • ‘By essence, I mean the intangibles that give any city an identity.’
    • ‘Most of the intelligences are linked to tangibles like objects or other people, but existential intelligence deals with intangibles.’
    • ‘It is also a world of intangibles, of caring and unconditional love - bonds of the heart that follow one to the grave and into the next world.’
    • ‘But that's not going to work because the intangibles are more important.’

Origin

Early 17th century (as an adjective): from French, or from medieval Latin intangibilis, from in- ‘not’ + late Latin tangibilis (see tangible).

Pronunciation

intangible

/ɪnˈtan(d)ʒɪb(ə)l/