What does intelligence mean?

Definitions for intelligence
ɪnˈtɛl ɪ dʒənsin·tel·li·gence

Here are all the possible meanings and translations of the word intelligence.

Princeton's WordNet

  1. intelligencenoun

    the ability to comprehend; to understand and profit from experience

  2. intelligence, intelligence service, intelligence agencynoun

    a unit responsible for gathering and interpreting information about an enemy

  3. intelligence, intelligence informationnoun

    secret information about an enemy (or potential enemy)

    "we sent out planes to gather intelligence on their radar coverage"

  4. news, intelligence, tidings, wordnoun

    information about recent and important events

    "they awaited news of the outcome"

  5. intelligence, intelligence activity, intelligence operationnoun

    the operation of gathering information about an enemy


  1. Intelligencenoun

    (Mil.) The division within a military organization that gathers and evaluates information about an enemy.


  1. intelligencenoun

    Capacity of mind, especially to understand principles, truths, facts or meanings, acquire knowledge, and apply it to practice; the ability to learn and comprehend.

  2. intelligencenoun

    An entity that has such capacities.

  3. intelligencenoun

    Information, usually secret, about the enemy or about hostile activities.

  4. intelligencenoun

    A political or military department, agency or unit designed to gather information, usually secret, about the enemy or about hostile activities.

  5. Etymology: From intelligence.

Samuel Johnson's Dictionary

  1. Intelligence, Intelligencynoun

    Etymology: intelligence, French; intelligentia, Latin.

    It was perceived there had not been in the catholicks, either at Armenia or at Seleucia, so much foresight as to provide that true intelligence might pass between them of what was done. Richard Hooker, b. v.

    A mankind witch! hence with her, out of door!
    A most intelligency bawd! William Shakespeare.

    He furnished his employed men liberally with money, to draw on and reward intelligences; giving them also in charge to advertise continually what they found. Francis Bacon, H. VII.

    The advertisements of neighbour princes are always to be regarded, for that they receive intelligence from better authors than persons of inferior note. John Hayward.

    Let all the passages
    Be well secur'd, that no intelligence
    May pass between the prince and them. John Denham, Sophy.

    Those tales had been sung to lull children asleep, before ever Berosus set up his intelligence office at Coos. Richard Bentley.

    Factious followers are worse to be liked, which follow not upon affection to him with whom they range themselves; whereupon commonly ensueth that ill intelligence that we see between great personages. Francis Bacon.

    He lived rather in a fair intelligence than any friendship with the favourites. Edward Hyde.

    How fully hast thou satisfied me, pure
    Intelligence of heav'n, angel! John Milton, Parad. Lost.

    There are divers ranks of created beings intermediate between the glorious God and man, as the glorious angels and created intelligences. Matthew Hale.

    They hoped to get the favour of the houses, and by the favour of the houses they hoped for that of the intelligencies, and by their favour for that of the supreme God. Edward Stillingfleet.

    The regularity of motion, visible in the great variety and curiosity of bodies, is a demonstration that the whole mass of matter is under the conduct of a mighty intelligence. Collier.

    Satan, appearing like a cherub to Uriel, the intelligence of the sun circumvented him even in his own province. Dryden.

    Heaps of huge words, up hoarded hideously,
    They think to be chief praise of poetry;
    And thereby wanting due intelligence,
    Have marr'd the face of goodly poesie. Edmund Spenser.

Webster Dictionary

  1. Intelligencenoun

    the act or state of knowing; the exercise of the understanding

  2. Intelligencenoun

    the capacity to know or understand; readiness of comprehension; the intellect, as a gift or an endowment

  3. Intelligencenoun

    information communicated; news; notice; advice

  4. Intelligencenoun

    acquaintance; intercourse; familiarity

  5. Intelligencenoun

    knowledge imparted or acquired, whether by study, research, or experience; general information

  6. Intelligencenoun

    an intelligent being or spirit; -- generally applied to pure spirits; as, a created intelligence

  7. Etymology: [F. intelligence, L. intelligentia, intellegentia. See Intelligent.]


  1. Intelligence

    Intelligence has been defined in many different ways including, but not limited to, abstract thought, understanding, self-awareness, communication, reasoning, learning, having emotional knowledge, retaining, planning, and problem solving. Intelligence is most widely studied in humans, but has also been observed in animals and in plants. Artificial intelligence is the simulation of intelligence in machines. Within the discipline of psychology, various approaches to human intelligence have been adopted. The psychometric approach is especially familiar to the general public, as well as being the most researched and by far the most widely used in practical settings.

The Roycroft Dictionary

  1. intelligence

    The grand inquisitor that tortures from every truth the confession that it lies, and from every lie a confession of its divine necessity.

U.S. National Library of Medicine

  1. Intelligence

    The ability to learn and to deal with new situations and to deal effectively with tasks involving abstractions.

Dictionary of Military and Associated Terms

  1. intelligence

    The product resulting from the collection, processing, integration, evaluation, analysis, and interpretation of available information concerning foreign nations, hostile or potentially hostile forces or elements, or areas of actual or potential operations. The term is also applied to the activity which results in the product and to the organizations engaged in such activity. See also acoustic intelligence; all-source intelligence; basic intelligence; combat intelligence; communications intelligence; critical intelligence; current intelligence; departmental intelligence; domestic intelligence; electronic intelligence; electro-optical intelligence; foreign intelligence; foreign instrumentation signals intelligence; general military intelligence; human resources intelligence; imagery intelligence; joint intelligence; laser intelligence; measurement and signature intelligence; medical intelligence; military intelligence; national intelligence; nuclear intelligence; open-source intelligence; operational intelligence; political intelligence; radar intelligence; scientific and technical intelligence; security intelligence; strategic intelligence; tactical intelligence; target intelligence; technical intelligence; technical operational intelligence; terrain intelligence.

Editors Contribution

  1. intelligence

    A form of data, facts, information, proof, research and statistics.

    They used the intelligence to reason efficiently and logically.

    Submitted by MaryC on February 11, 2020  

  2. intelligence

    The ability to feel, know and understand intuitively.

    Intelligence is a gift, to be used wisely.

    Submitted by MaryC on February 11, 2020  

British National Corpus

  1. Spoken Corpus Frequency

    Rank popularity for the word 'intelligence' in Spoken Corpus Frequency: #2833

  2. Nouns Frequency

    Rank popularity for the word 'intelligence' in Nouns Frequency: #1230

How to pronounce intelligence?

How to say intelligence in sign language?


  1. Chaldean Numerology

    The numerical value of intelligence in Chaldean Numerology is: 7

  2. Pythagorean Numerology

    The numerical value of intelligence in Pythagorean Numerology is: 7

Examples of intelligence in a Sentence

  1. General Alan Arrojado:

    There's an intelligence report that Radullan Sahiron was wounded in the firefight, we don't know where he was hit but one of his assistants was shot in the leg.

  2. Arun Jaitley:

    It's a very irresponsible stand, the armed forces must have, and our security and intelligence agencies must have, a full leeway in dealing with situations, and if anybody wants operational details to be made public ... he certainly does not understand the system.

  3. Don Herold:

    There is nobody so irritating as somebody with less intelligence and more sense than we have.

  4. Andy Brennan:

    We received intelligence suggesting that somebody who hadn't been identified at that point was active in these areas. That would have been August 2014.

  5. Alex Garland:

    It just means you’ve got to be careful and broadly speaking I think if we were able to create strong A.I.s I think Artificial Intelligence would probably be Artificial Intelligence.

Popularity rank by frequency of use


Translations for intelligence

From our Multilingual Translation Dictionary

  • معلومات, ذكاء, جهاز المخابراتArabic
  • аҡылBashkir
  • llestesa, seny, intel·ligènciaCatalan, Valencian
  • inteligence, rozvědka, zpravodajská službaCzech
  • efterretninger, intelligens, efterretningstjenesteDanish
  • Sicherheitsdienst, Geheimdienstinformationen, intelligentes Leben, Nachrichtendienst, Geheimdienst, IntelligenzGerman
  • υπηρεσία πληροφοριών, πληροφορία, ευφυΐα, νοημοσύνηGreek
  • inteligento, inteligentecoEsperanto
  • inteligenciaSpanish
  • luureandmed, haritlane, luure, arukusEstonian
  • هوشPersian
  • sotilastiedustelu, tiedustelutieto, älykkyys, älyFinnish
  • fregnartænasta, vitFaroese
  • intelligence, renseignementsFrench
  • מודיעין, שכל, אגף המודיעין, אינטליגנציהHebrew
  • बुद्धिHindi
  • hírszerzés, intelligenciaHungarian
  • խելք, բանականությունArmenian
  • inteligentesoIdo
  • greindIcelandic
  • intelligenzaItalian
  • 情報機関, 情報, 知力Japanese
  • 지혜, 이해력, 情報, 정보Korean
  • ingenium, nūntius, intelligentiaLatin
  • inteligencijaLithuanian
  • gudrība, saprātsLatvian
  • интелиге́нција, разузна́вање, разузна́вачка слу́жбаMacedonian
  • оюун ухаанMongolian
  • inlichtingendienst, inlichting, intelligentie, wezenDutch
  • intelligensNorwegian
  • inteligencja, wywiadPolish
  • inteligênciaPortuguese
  • inteligență, judecatăRomanian
  • интеллиге́нция, интеллиге́нтность, интелле́кт, разве́дка, све́дения, разве́дывательные да́нные, разведда́нныеRussian
  • प्रज्ञाSanskrit
  • inteligencija, obavještajna službaSerbo-Croatian
  • obveščevalna služba, inteligencaSlovene
  • zbulimitAlbanian
  • underrättelse, underrättelsetjänst, intelligensSwedish
  • మేధస్సుTelugu
  • ปรีชา, สมอง, เมธาThai
  • istihbarat, akıllı yaşam, istihbarat teşkilatı, zekâTurkish
  • розві́дкаUkrainian
  • שׂכלYiddish
  • 情报Chinese

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    (of especially persons) lacking sense or understanding or judgment
    • A. witless
    • B. blistering
    • C. disjointed
    • D. suspicious

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