Definition of tangible in US English:



  • 1Perceptible by touch.

    ‘the atmosphere of neglect and abandonment was almost tangible’
    • ‘In each of these popular histories, the salt tang of the sea is almost tangible.’
    • ‘She held me tightly while I cried, never saying a word, and the sheer strength of her love was almost tangible.’
    • ‘Throughout the group there was an almost tangible feeling of excited expectation that she couldn't understand.’
    • ‘Night closed in with an almost tangible intensity.’
    • ‘He was a tall man with grey hair and a long mustache, with an almost tangible aura of power about him that didn't fit the role of a waiter.’
    • ‘The attraction between us was almost tangible, electricity visible to the naked eye.’
    • ‘Her voice broke the humming silence, almost tangible barrier between them.’
    • ‘The long, dreadful silence that followed was almost tangible.’
    • ‘After the silence grew almost tangible in the room, he cleared his throat, and spoke.’
    • ‘When we stopped getting outbreaks in the autumn of last year the relief, not only in country areas and among farmers but nationally, was almost tangible.’
    • ‘She walked quickly, and her resentment toward him was almost tangible.’
    • ‘I was on the London Tube the day after the July 7 attacks, and the fear of another attack was almost tangible.’
    • ‘Was it the promise of the almost tangible chemistry between the two?’
    • ‘As I sat at the patient's bed his fear was almost tangible.’
    • ‘The buzz has been almost tangible as the first match of the Six Nations gets closer.’
    • ‘I was in Oxford Street later in the evening and I can report that the hysteria in the air was almost tangible.’
    • ‘That feeling of heaven, that bliss, had disappeared, leaving an almost tangible sense of absence.’
    • ‘He carries that sorrow with him now, just under the surface, almost tangible.’
    • ‘The excitement with which I am tingling at this moment is almost tangible.’
    • ‘His characters cover a wide range of ages, but each has one thing in common: an almost tangible quality.’
    touchable, palpable, tactile, material, physical, real, substantial, corporeal, solid, concrete
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    1. 1.1 Clear and definite; real.
      ‘the emphasis is now on tangible results’
      • ‘The flowers are also meant to reflect the optimism of spring and act as a tangible and touching reminder for those who sponsor a bulb in memory of a loved one.’
      • ‘So, many are putting their cash into tangible assets such as real estate and gold.’
      • ‘It would be a visible and tangible means of bringing Glasgow and Edinburgh together.’
      • ‘These priority projects are real, tangible evidence of the company's work.’
      • ‘In any broken place there rests tangible evidence of those who came before us and in touching what they left, we can for a time touch them.’
      • ‘It's a visible, tangible side effect of matter changing form - it's one part of a chemical reaction.’
      • ‘The result will be a thorough, intelligent market research study that is likely to yield tangible results.’
      • ‘People here will see this as a small but feasible and tangible antidote to perceptions that the country is the enemy of the rest of the world.’
      • ‘The speedscope is not capable of producing a visible, tangible record as is envisaged in the legislation.’
      • ‘For faith is belief in the absence of tangible evidence or proof.’
      • ‘Though full equality is a long way from being achieved, the gains have been real and tangible.’
      • ‘Could it be that there was actually a real and tangible hope that we would get out of here?’
      • ‘Being labeled hypocrites is a price worth paying if it yields tangible results in the real world.’
      • ‘As a society we are far too preoccupied with measuring things in terms of tangible commercial results.’
      • ‘Resources are tangible, visible, and relatively easy to measure.’
      • ‘Maybe one day he will understand that there are real and tangible consequences to mistakes.’
      • ‘He was a tangible threat each and every time he touched the ball.’
      • ‘There comes a point in making a new garden when a sudden transformation happens and what was a wasteland becomes a visible, tangible garden.’
      • ‘I am very satisfied with what we have done and can really see some clear and tangible results.’
      • ‘To achieve tangible results, command personnel will also require training in the field of criminology.’
      real, actual, solid, concrete, substantial, hard, well defined, definite, well documented, clear, clear-cut, distinct, manifest, evident, obvious, striking, indisputable, undoubted, unmistakable, positive, perceptible, verifiable, appreciable, measurable, discernible, intelligible
      View synonyms


usually tangibles
  • A thing that is perceptible by touch.

    • ‘‘They see themselves getting stronger,’ he says, explaining that tangibles will fuel continued success.’
    • ‘He admitted that a winning record was a measure of success, but also said there were other tangibles that should be taken into account.’
    • ‘That's why companies that once measured their worth strictly in terms of tangibles such as factories, inventory, and cash have realized that a vibrant brand, with its implicit promise of quality, is an equally important asset.’
    • ‘Even in the straight world of economics, where production and tangibles were once central, indices of happiness, creativity and other non-material values have taken centre stage.’
    • ‘He added that whilst the first decade of democratic local government was about such tangibles as water and housing, the next decade presents the challenges of efficiency and effectiveness.’
    • ‘The capacity to outthink the competition, to convert knowledge to power and smarts to money, defines the shift from an economy of tangibles to one of intangibles.’
    • ‘Locke has since then been used to legitimise the creation of new property rights in tangibles and intangibles.’
    • ‘The so-called problem of allocation, which has bewitched some commentators, does not arise as it does with tangibles such as goods.’
    • ‘Rampant inflation made speculation in real estate and other tangibles much more rewarding than productive work and investment.’
    • ‘Because at the end of the day in the information age, what carries value on a global scale is not real product, it's not tangibles, it's intellectual product.’
    • ‘A triumph for him would allow him benefits that extend way beyond the tangible.’
    • ‘The impact of a spiritual change can take years for a person to realize. Still, there are tangibles, and these measures provide some evidence of the fruits of ministry.’
    • ‘My answer is that more than knocking gold down to discourage the bond vigilantes from moving out of bonds into tangibles is involved.’
    • ‘Sometimes the intangibles have more to do with a career decision than the tangibles.’
    • ‘To measure success, the world must evaluate tangibles and observables.’
    • ‘But the marginal value of tangibles versus intangibles has shifted.’
    • ‘This is not quite a brutish indifference to everything beyond the tangible.’
    • ‘An examination of that process will yield operative tangibles.’
    • ‘Even without the should and will distinction, expectations regarding tangibles are consistently low in people-based industries.’
    • ‘I go for real things - tangibles they call 'em - all the time, and I always put a luxury item in terms of tanks of petrol since this is my biggest outlay each month (after debt repayment).’


Late 16th century: from French, or from late Latin tangibilis, from tangere ‘to touch’.