• Intelligence


    • IPA: /ɪnˈtÉ›l.ɪˌd​͡ʒəns/


    From Old French intelligence, from Latin intelligentia.

    Full definition of 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 5Not 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.
      • 2013-07-19, Ian Sample, Irregular bedtimes may affect children's brains, 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.
      • TennysonThe 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.
      • ClarendonHe lived rather in a fair intelligence than any friendship with the favourites.


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