Definition of intangible in English:

intangible

adjective

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

    ‘my companions do not care about cyberspace or anything else so intangible’
    • ‘But it sees the future not in plastic and chips but something more intangible - the coming interconnectivity of the world.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘These are intangible things that we believe are genuine dividends of a good design program.’
    • ‘But when the body is discarded its texture becomes intangible.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Thus, the winner, despite the monetary gratification, can never have the intangible but necessary spiritual satisfaction of having earned the money.’
    • ‘And, monetary gifts aren't enough, but intangible power, presence, and influence as well.’
    • ‘It stands to reason then that intangible means not tangible, unable to touch, or impalpable.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Perhaps that's the way it always goes when it comes to the intangible threats of toxic chemicals and dangerous levels of radioactivity.’
    • ‘It morphed into this gigantic, intangible thing that loomed distantly, shadowing our eventual departure from the college, and colouring our future plans.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘His own image is usually part of the ensemble, but often appears ghostly and intangible compared with the heavy sparkle of the box itself.’
    • ‘You don't sell your soul to this thing that's totally intangible and completely invisible.’
    • ‘The minute you walk in, you feel an intangible presence.’
    • ‘Yet the apparent paradox of associating touch with something that is intangible and impalpable is not as odd as it might seem.’
    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’
      • ‘With the new relationships, however, some of the favorable effects are intangible and more difficult to quantify and critique.’
      • ‘Something intangible that you know is wrong but can't really define it.’
      • ‘Images can express an experience that language can't capture: that intangible, indefinable moment when we encounter the Spirit.’
      • ‘Lydia was used to thinking in intangible, theoretical abstracts - not in the brutal world of tangible human realities.’
      • ‘Don't they sound just a little bit vague, intangible, or unclear?’
      • ‘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 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.’
      • ‘It is something talismanic, totemic, intangible, all-consuming, corrosive, compulsive, elusive, indefinable.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘One of the biggest problems many people seem to have is defining it, because it's still so new and relatively intangible.’
      • ‘Clients are quick to discuss designs' more abstract and intangible qualities.’
      • ‘Overall, it has an intangible quality that I have difficulty explaining but nonetheless am drawn to.’
      • ‘Hard is a mysterious, intangible personality trait that belies definition.’
      • ‘Sometimes how design improves our lives comes down to elusive, intangible emotions or feelings.’
      indefinable, indescribable, inexpressible, nameless
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    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 trademarks and patents’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘A company's book value is its net asset value minus its intangible assets, current liabilities, long-term debt and equity issues.’
      • ‘How did intangible assets come to play such a central role at so many companies?’
      • ‘There are no intangible assets on the balance sheet which might have helped to explain the extraordinary price.’
      • ‘Adjusted net earnings, of course, excludes the after-tax impact of amortisation of intangible assets and integration costs related to acquisitions.’
      • ‘If the purchase price exceeds the book value of the acquired company, an intangible asset or ‘goodwill’ is created on the balance sheet.’
      • ‘I'm not suggesting that intangible assets should be ignored.’
      • ‘This means that most of the backing for the share price is goodwill, an intangible asset.’
      • ‘Is the future earning potential of your business an intangible asset?’
      • ‘Given its hazy nature, goodwill is designated as an intangible asset.’
      • ‘If they had access to the inside information about intangible assets that managers have, it could only get worse.’
      • ‘This is because the intangible assets such as goodwill are included in the shareholders' funds figure.’
      • ‘But, on average, intangible assets now represent about 80 percent of the market value of public companies.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Physical as opposed to intangible assets in businesses in advanced economies such as Ireland's are reducing in importance.’
      • ‘Like the intangible assets measure, we computed export intensity as a five-year moving average.’
      • ‘Here is a place to start: try calculating the total value of a company's intangible assets.’
      • ‘The balance sheet also includes intangible assets of $1.18 billion and long-term debt of $2 billion.’
      • ‘Intellectual property law has to do with intangible assets, things like words, phrases, logos, and pictures.’
      • ‘Another point is that the cost and value of goods and services include an ever-increasing percentage of intangible assets.’

noun

usually intangibles
  • An intangible thing.

    ‘intangibles like self-confidence and responsibility’
    • ‘There are always other factors, other variables, intangibles sometimes, which really make the difference.’
    • ‘It just means that there are all sorts of intangibles that go into these things.’
    • ‘Companies do this with stocks and bonds but not with intangibles.’
    • ‘He has the intangibles that often separate one player from another.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Most of the intelligences are linked to tangibles like objects or other people, but existential intelligence deals with intangibles.’
    • ‘These are all the intangibles that we have to overcome.’
    • ‘The story explores how rules get made or changed and how environmental intangibles are quantified.’
    • ‘There are still some intangibles that I can't quite wrap my mind around.’
    • ‘By essence, I mean the intangibles that give any city an identity.’
    • ‘What about those intangibles that could make us all so much happier: income security and increased leisure?’
    • ‘What extraordinarily powerful intangibles professionals leave off the bottom line.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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?’
    • ‘Senior Editor Gross writes about research, patents, and other intangibles.’
    • ‘This puts a number on how much of a company's current value is built on that most intangible of intangibles - expectations.’
    • ‘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

/inˈtanjəb(ə)l/