One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
1Able to be understood; comprehensible.‘use vocabulary that is intelligible to your audience’‘a barely intelligible reply’
comprehensible, understandableView synonyms
- ‘Many of the items which are found in the media and commonly used in town speech are not intelligible to the average rural adult speaker.’
- ‘The surrounds are used appropriately and dialogue is clear and intelligible.’
- ‘An examination structure, intelligible to pupils, parents and employers, must be a priority as a means of getting these proposals off the ground.’
- ‘Attendees are guaranteed that at least one-third of all words used will be intelligible to the general public.’
- ‘He remains one of the rare leading academics whose work is intelligible to normal people.’
- ‘He got a sensible and intelligible reply from Natasha.’
- ‘Very little of it is intelligible, you understand, but don't think that stops her in the least.’
- ‘While it's clear and intelligible, a musical really deserves at least a stereo soundtrack.’
- ‘Mine was only a middle-ranking independent school, so that's why I was relatively intelligible but prone to waffling after a few glasses of sherry.’
- ‘For the last year or so of his life, he never uttered one intelligible word or showed the slightest sign of knowing who or where he was.’
- ‘I am quite confident that I am more intelligible than you.’
- ‘Before he could make any intelligible reply, the doors behind the reception slid open and a pretty secretary walked out.’
- ‘The individual cannot make himself intelligible to anybody.’
- ‘How much can you leave out while keeping it intelligible, he asks?’
- ‘He came across something that struck me as intelligible.’
- ‘Studies show that a person is more intelligible to an individual who can both see and hear them than for either method alone.’
- ‘It was a fine introduction - familiar enough to be intelligible, different enough to be intriguing.’
- ‘That makes the lyrics intelligible without reducing the music's intensity.’
- ‘I had to clear my throat a few times before I could give him an intelligible reply.’
- ‘We're hardly capable of intelligible conversation, and those smiles over the mulled wine and mince pies/beer and crisps verge on the frantic.’
- 1.1Philosophy Able to be understood only by the intellect, not by the senses.
Late Middle English (also in the sense ‘capable of understanding’): from Latin intelligibilis, from intelligere ‘understand’ (see intelligent).
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