Definition of tangible in US English:



  • 1Perceptible by touch.

    ‘the atmosphere of neglect and abandonment was almost tangible’
    • ‘Throughout the group there was an almost tangible feeling of excited expectation that she couldn't understand.’
    • ‘She held me tightly while I cried, never saying a word, and the sheer strength of her love was almost tangible.’
    • ‘That feeling of heaven, that bliss, had disappeared, leaving an almost tangible sense of absence.’
    • ‘The buzz has been almost tangible as the first match of the Six Nations gets closer.’
    • ‘The long, dreadful silence that followed was almost tangible.’
    • ‘His characters cover a wide range of ages, but each has one thing in common: an almost tangible quality.’
    • ‘I was in Oxford Street later in the evening and I can report that the hysteria in the air was almost tangible.’
    • ‘Her voice broke the humming silence, almost tangible barrier between them.’
    • ‘She walked quickly, and her resentment toward him was almost tangible.’
    • ‘The excitement with which I am tingling at this moment is almost tangible.’
    • ‘He carries that sorrow with him now, just under the surface, almost tangible.’
    • ‘Night closed in with an almost tangible intensity.’
    • ‘As I sat at the patient's bed his fear was almost tangible.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘After the silence grew almost tangible in the room, he cleared his throat, and spoke.’
    • ‘Was it the promise of the almost tangible chemistry between the two?’
    • ‘I was on the London Tube the day after the July 7 attacks, and the fear of another attack was almost tangible.’
    • ‘In each of these popular histories, the salt tang of the sea is almost tangible.’
    • ‘The attraction between us was almost tangible, electricity visible to the naked eye.’
    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’
      • ‘I am very satisfied with what we have done and can really see some clear and tangible results.’
      • ‘For faith is belief in the absence of tangible evidence or proof.’
      • ‘Could it be that there was actually a real and tangible hope that we would get out of here?’
      • ‘The result will be a thorough, intelligent market research study that is likely to yield tangible results.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘The speedscope is not capable of producing a visible, tangible record as is envisaged in the legislation.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Though full equality is a long way from being achieved, the gains have been real and tangible.’
      • ‘He was a tangible threat each and every time he touched the ball.’
      • ‘It's a visible, tangible side effect of matter changing form - it's one part of a chemical reaction.’
      • ‘It would be a visible and tangible means of bringing Glasgow and Edinburgh together.’
      • ‘As a society we are far too preoccupied with measuring things in terms of tangible commercial results.’
      • ‘Being labeled hypocrites is a price worth paying if it yields tangible results in the real world.’
      • ‘So, many are putting their cash into tangible assets such as real estate and gold.’
      • ‘To achieve tangible results, command personnel will also require training in the field of criminology.’
      • ‘Resources are tangible, visible, and relatively easy to measure.’
      • ‘There comes a point in making a new garden when a sudden transformation happens and what was a wasteland becomes a visible, tangible garden.’
      • ‘Maybe one day he will understand that there are real and tangible consequences to mistakes.’
      • ‘These priority projects are real, tangible evidence of the company's work.’
      • ‘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.’
      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.

    • ‘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.’
    • ‘But the marginal value of tangibles versus intangibles has shifted.’
    • ‘This is not quite a brutish indifference to everything 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.’
    • ‘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).’
    • ‘The so-called problem of allocation, which has bewitched some commentators, does not arise as it does with tangibles such as goods.’
    • ‘Even without the should and will distinction, expectations regarding tangibles are consistently low in people-based industries.’
    • ‘He admitted that a winning record was a measure of success, but also said there were other tangibles that should be taken into account.’
    • ‘An examination of that process will yield operative tangibles.’
    • ‘To measure success, the world must evaluate tangibles and observables.’
    • ‘Sometimes the intangibles have more to do with a career decision than the tangibles.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘‘They see themselves getting stronger,’ he says, explaining that tangibles will fuel continued success.’
    • ‘A triumph for him would allow him benefits that extend way beyond the tangible.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Locke has since then been used to legitimise the creation of new property rights in tangibles and intangibles.’
    • ‘My answer is that more than knocking gold down to discourage the bond vigilantes from moving out of bonds into tangibles is involved.’
    • ‘Rampant inflation made speculation in real estate and other tangibles much more rewarding than productive work and investment.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’


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