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[tan-juh-buh l] /ˈtæn dʒə bəl/
capable of being touched; discernible by the touch; material or substantial.
real or actual, rather than imaginary or visionary:
the tangible benefits of sunshine.
definite; not vague or elusive:
no tangible grounds for suspicion.
(of an asset) having actual physical existence, as real estate or chattels, and therefore capable of being assigned a value in monetary terms.
something tangible, especially a tangible asset.
Origin of tangible
1580-90; < Late Latin tangibilis, equivalent to Latin tang(ere) to touch + -ibilis -ible
Related forms
tangibility, tangibleness, noun
tangibly, adverb
nontangible, adjective
nontangibleness, noun
nontangibly, adverb
pretangible, adjective
pretangibly, adverb
quasi-tangible, adjective
quasi-tangibly, adverb
untangible, adjective
1. palpable, corporeal. 2. certain, genuine, perceptible. 3. specific. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for tangible
  • Perhaps that's because it seems less real to them than other, more tangible medical disorders.
  • It's supposed to be used to come to objective conclusions based on tangible and observable evidence.
  • They are waiting for tangible improvements in daily life to give them real cause for celebration, they say.
  • Meanwhile, scientists and scientific thinkers doing actual work in real laboratories continue to make tangible progress.
  • Bill has translated his vision and optimism into tangible support for the eradication effort and challenged others to join him.
  • He pierced the emblematic or spiritual character of the visible, audible, tangible world.
  • And they were also harvesting something less tangible: a newfound, tenuous harmony.
  • Offshore, flotillas of icebergs drift silvery in the half-light-tangible evidence of the change.
  • Tactical leadership is focused almost exclusively on achieving specific tangible objectives.
  • Working in an office, you often find it difficult to see any tangible result from your efforts.
British Dictionary definitions for tangible


capable of being touched or felt; having real substance: a tangible object
capable of being clearly grasped by the mind; substantial rather than imaginary: tangible evidence
having a physical existence; corporeal: tangible assets
(often pl) a tangible thing or asset
Derived Forms
tangibility, tangibleness, noun
tangibly, adverb
Word Origin
C16: from Late Latin tangibilis, from Latin tangere to touch
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for tangible

1580s, "capable of being touched," from Middle French tangible, from Late Latin tangibilis "that may be touched," from Latin tangere "to touch" (see tangent). Sense of "material" (e.g. tangible reward) is first recorded 1610s; that of "able to be realized or dealt with" is from 1709.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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