Definify.com

Webster 1913 Edition


Intelligence

In-tel′li-gence

,
Noun.
[F.
intelligence
, L.
intelligentia
,
intellegentia
. See
Intelligent
.]
1.
The act or state of knowing; the exercise of the understanding.
2.
The capacity to know or understand; readiness of comprehension; the intellect, as a gift or an endowment.
And dimmed with darkness their
intelligence
.
Spenser.
3.
Information communicated; news; notice; advice.
Intelligence
is given where you are hid.
Shakespeare
4.
Acquaintance; intercourse; familiarity.
[Obs.]
He lived rather in a fair
intelligence
than any friendship with the favorites.
Clarendon.
5.
Knowledge imparted or acquired, whether by study, research, or experience; general information.
Specifically;
(Mil.)
Information about an enemy or potential enemy, his capacities, and intentions.
I write as he that none
intelligence

Of meters hath, ne flowers of sentence.
Court of Love.
6.
An intelligent being or spirit; – generally applied to pure spirits;
as, a created
intelligence
.
Milton.
The great
Intelligences
fair
That range above our mortal state,
In circle round the blessed gate,
Received and gave him welcome there.
Tennyson.
Syn. – Understanding; intellect; instruction; advice; notice; notification; news; information; report.

Webster 1828 Edition


Intelligence

INTEL'LIGENCE

,
Noun.
[L. intelligentia, from intelligo, to understand. This verb is probably composed of in, inter, or intus, within, and lego to collect. The primary sense of understand is generally to take or hold, as we say, to take one's ideas or meaning.]
1.
Understanding; skill.
2.
Notice; information communicated; an account of things distant or before unknown. Intelligence may be transmitted by messengers, by letters, by signals or by telegraphs.
3.
Commerce of acquaintance; terms of intercourse. Good intelligence between men is harmony. So we say, there is a good understanding between persons, when they have the same views, or are free from discord.
4.
A spiritual being; as a created intelligence. It is believed that the universe is peopled with innumerable superior intelligences.

INTEL'LIGENCE

,
Verb.
T.
To inform; to instruct. [Little used.]

Definition 2020


intelligence

intelligence

English

Noun

intelligence (countable and uncountable, plural intelligences)

  1. (uncountable) Capacity of mind, especially to understand principles, truths, facts or meanings, acquire knowledge, and apply it to practice; the ability to learn and comprehend.
    • 1912, Edgar Rice Burroughs, Tarzan of the Apes, Chapter 5
      Not so, however, with Tarzan, the man-child. His life amidst the dangers of the jungle had taught him to meet emergencies with self-confidence, and his higher intelligence resulted in a quickness of mental action far beyond the powers of the apes.
    • 2013 July 19, Ian Sample, Irregular bedtimes may affect children's brains”, in The Guardian Weekly, volume 189, number 6, page 34:
      Irregular bedtimes may disrupt healthy brain development in young children, according to a study of intelligence and sleeping habits.   Going to bed at a different time each night affected girls more than boys, but both fared worse on mental tasks than children who had a set bedtime, researchers found.
  2. (countable) An entity that has such capacities.
    • Tennyson
      The great Intelligences fair / That range above our mortal state, / In circle round the blessed gate, / Received and gave him welcome there.
  3. (uncountable) Information, usually secret, about the enemy or about hostile activities.
  4. (countable) A political or military department, agency or unit designed to gather information, usually secret, about the enemy or about hostile activities.
  5. (dated) Acquaintance; intercourse; familiarity.
    • Clarendon
      He lived rather in a fair intelligence than any friendship with the favourites.

(Can we add an example for this sense?)

Synonyms

  • (capacity of mind): wit, intellect, brightness
  • (entity): see Wikisaurus:sentient
  • See also Wikisaurus:intelligence

Derived terms

Translations


French

Etymology

From Latin intellegentia (the act of choosing between, intelligence), from intellegō (understand), from inter (between) + legō (choose, pick out, read).

Pronunciation

  • IPA(key): /ɛ̃tɛliʒɑ̃s/

Noun

intelligence f (plural intelligences)

  1. intelligence; cleverness
  2. comprehension

Italian

Etymology

Borrowing from English intelligence.

Noun

intelligence f (invariable)

  1. A political or military department, agency or unit designed to gather information.

Middle French

Noun

intelligence f (plural intelligences)

  1. intelligence
  2. comprehension
    • 1595, Michel de Montaigne, Essais, book II, chapter 10:
      Je souhaiterois avoir plus parfaicte comprehension des choses, mais je ne la veux pas achepter si cher qu’elle couste.
      I would like to have a more perfect knowledge of everything, but I don't want to buy it for how much it costs

Old French

Noun

intelligence f (oblique plural intelligences, nominative singular intelligence, nominative plural intelligences)

  1. comprehension
  2. meaning
  3. ability to comprehend

Descendants

References