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Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. The capacity to acquire and apply knowledge.
  • n. The faculty of thought and reason.
  • n. Superior powers of mind. See Synonyms at mind.
  • n. An intelligent, incorporeal being, especially an angel.
  • n. Information; news. See Synonyms at news.
  • n. Secret information, especially about an actual or potential enemy.
  • n. An agency, staff, or office employed in gathering such information.
  • n. Espionage agents, organizations, and activities considered as a group: "Intelligence is nothing if not an institutionalized black market in perishable commodities” ( John le Carré).

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. Capacity of mind, especially to understand principles, truths, facts or meanings, acquire knowledge, and apply it to practice; the ability to learn and comprehend.
  • n. An entity that has such capacities.
  • n. Information, usually secret, about the enemy or about hostile activities.
  • n. A political or military department, agency or unit designed to gather information, usually secret, about the enemy or about hostile activities.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. The act or state of knowing; the exercise of the understanding.
  • n. The capacity to know or understand; readiness of comprehension; the intellect, as a gift or an endowment.
  • n. Information communicated; news; notice; advice.
  • n. Acquaintance; intercourse; familiarity.
  • n. Knowledge imparted or acquired, whether by study, research, or experience; general information.
  • n. An intelligent being or spirit; -- generally applied to pure spirits.
  • n. The division within a military organization that gathers and evaluates information about an enemy.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. The quality of being intelligent; understanding; intellect; power of cognition.
  • n. Cultivated understanding; acquired knowledge; information stored up in the mind.
  • n. Exercise of superior understanding; address; skill: as, he performed his mission with much intelligence.
  • n. Mutual understanding; interchange of information or sentiment; intelligent intercourse; as, a glance of intelligence passed between them; to have intelligence with the enemy.
  • n. Information received or imparted; communicated knowledge; news: as, intelligence of a shipwreck.
  • n. An intelligent being; intellectual existence; concrete understanding: as, God is the Supreme Intelligence.
  • n. Advice, Tidings, etc. (see news), notification.
  • To convey intelligence; tell tales; tattle.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. secret information about an enemy (or potential enemy)
  • n. the ability to comprehend; to understand and profit from experience
  • n. a unit responsible for gathering and interpreting information about an enemy
  • n. information about recent and important events
  • n. the operation of gathering information about an enemy

Etymologies

From Old French intelligence. (Wiktionary)

Examples

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