Definitions

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

  • adj. Discernible by the touch; palpable: a tangible roughness of the skin.
  • adj. Possible to touch.
  • adj. Possible to be treated as fact; real or concrete: tangible evidence.
  • adj. Possible to understand or realize: the tangible benefits of the plan.
  • adj. Law That can be valued monetarily: tangible property.
  • n. Something palpable or concrete.
  • n. Material assets.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • adj. touchable; able to be touched or felt; perceptible by the sense of touch; palpable
  • adj. possible to be treated as fact; real or concrete
  • adj. comprehensible by the mind; understandable
  • n. real or concrete results

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • adj. Perceptible to the touch; tactile; palpable.
  • adj. Capable of being possessed or realized; readily apprehensible by the mind; real; substantial; evident.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • Capable of being touched or grasped, or of affecting the sense of touch.
  • Discernible or discriminable by the touch.
  • Capable of being possessed or realized; such that one can lay the hand on it; within reach; real: as, tangible security.

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

  • adj. capable of being treated as fact
  • adj. capable of being perceived; especially capable of being handled or touched or felt
  • adj. (of especially business assets) having physical substance and intrinsic monetary value
  • adj. perceptible by the senses especially the sense of touch

Etymologies

Late Latin tangibilis, from Latin tangere, to touch; see tag- in Indo-European roots.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
Latin tangibilis, from tangere, "to touch". (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • Information can be instantiated in tangible property, which is defined as a tangible object ( "ideal object") with boundaries that can be possessed.

    Tyler on the Problems of Libertarians, Arnold Kling | EconLog | Library of Economics and Liberty

  • Officials pointed to what they described as tangible signs of their progress on Guantanamo, saying 11 detainees have been resettled or repatriated, one has been moved to New York for criminal trial, and another detained in the U.S. as an "enemy combatant" has pleaded guilty to terrorism-related charges.

    U.S. Expected to Miss Deadline on Detainee Policy

  • Just hours before he broke the news, a source close to the investigation tells me, the suspect's wife came forward with what he calls tangible evidence leading to Laurean.

    CNN Transcript Jan 12, 2008

  • Just hours before he broke the news, a source close to the investigation tells me the suspect's wife came forward with what he calls tangible evidence leading to Laurean.

    CNN Transcript Jan 11, 2008

  • And we're seeing what I call the tangible voter, who wants to see real results and something happening.

    CNN Transcript May 19, 2006

  • BASH: His big examples, two cities where bloody battles are now replaced by what he called tangible progress because of lessons learned the hard way.

    CNN Transcript Dec 7, 2005

  • If I were to ask you to make a list of words to describe what you understand about human rights, I am going to guess that a majority of you would not have the word "tangible" on the descriptive list.

    The Full Feed from HuffingtonPost.com

  • If I were to ask you to make a list of words to describe what you understand about human rights, I am going to guess that a majority of you would not have the word "tangible" on the descriptive list. ...

    The Full Feed from HuffingtonPost.com

  • Vic Alboini, chief executive of Jaguar Financial Corp., a Toronto-based merchant bank that is pressing for changes at RIM to realize what he calls a tangible book value of more than $30 on the stock, said he is in talks with an unnamed independent director at RIM to discuss options for the company that could include management changes, an outright sale or a breakup of assets.

    Thestar.com - Home Page

  • Based on tests for 1968-2003 and a sample of stocks like our ABT sample, they conclude that changes in BMt due to changes in book equity (what they call tangible information) do not predict returns, but changes in price unrelated to changes in book equity (what they call intangible information) have marginal forecast power.

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