adjective tan·gi·ble \ˈtan-jə-bəl\

: easily seen or recognized

: able to be touched or felt

Full Definition of TANGIBLE

a :  capable of being perceived especially by the sense of touch :  palpable
b :  substantially real :  material
:  capable of being precisely identified or realized by the mind <her grief was tangible>
:  capable of being appraised at an actual or approximate value <tangible assets>
tan·gi·bil·i·ty \ˌtan-jə-ˈbi-lə-tē\ noun
tan·gi·ble·ness \ˈtan-jə-bəl-nəs\ noun
tan·gi·bly \-blē\ adverb

Examples of TANGIBLE

  1. These days, an environmentally conscious motorist can walk into a Toyota or Honda dealer and snap up an efficient gasoline-electric hybrid, but the omega point of green driving—the pollution-free hydrogen fuel cell vehicle—is so elusive that one wonders if it will ever become tangible. —Brad Lemley, Discover, October 2002

Origin of TANGIBLE

Late Latin tangibilis, from Latin tangere to touch
First Known Use: 1589

Synonym Discussion of TANGIBLE

perceptible, sensible, palpable, tangible, appreciable, ponderable mean apprehensible as real or existent. perceptible applies to what can be discerned by the senses often to a minimal extent <a perceptible difference in sound to a careful listener>. sensible applies to whatever is clearly apprehended through the senses or impresses itself strongly on the mind <an abrupt, sensible drop in temperature>. palpable applies either to what has physical substance or to what is obvious and unmistakable <the tension in the air was almost palpable>. tangible suggests what is capable of being handled or grasped both physically and mentally <no tangible evidence of UFOs>. appreciable applies to what is distinctly discernible by the senses or definitely measurable <an appreciable increase in income>. ponderable suggests having definitely measurable weight or importance <exerted a ponderable influence on world events>.

Rhymes with TANGIBLE


noun tan·gi·ble \ˈtan-jə-bəl\

Definition of TANGIBLE

:  something that is tangible (see 1tangible); especially :  an asset capable of being appraised at an actual or approximate value

Examples of TANGIBLE

  1. In this agora, the price of what you buy and sell need bear no implacable relationship to any tangibles. —Jodie Allen, New Republic, 5 June 2000

Origin of TANGIBLE

(see 1tangible)
First Known Use: 1890
TANGIBLE Defined for Kids


adjective tan·gi·ble \ˈtan-jə-bəl\

Definition of TANGIBLE for Kids

:  possible to touch or handle :  material <Sometimes he pursued the call into the forest, looking for it as though it were a tangible thing … — Jack London, The Call of the Wild>
:  easily seen or recognized <tangible benefits>
tan·gi·bly \-blē\ adverb

Word Root of TANGIBLE

The Latin word tangere, meaning to touch, and its form tactus give us the roots tang and tact. Words from the Latin tangere have something to do with touching. Something tangible is able to be touched. Contact is a meeting or touching of people or things. Something intact is unharmed, whole, and untouched. Anything tactile relates to the sense of touch.


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