I'm currently playing Metal Gear Solid 5, I'm a french speaker and I noticed characters use the word Intel shorthand for Intelligence I think.

I understand it as a synonym for Information but I'm not sure it can be considered as a replacement for Information.

For example, I was chatting with someone and he said:

I will look into this issue.

and I wanted to express that if he needed more informations he could ask me so I was thinking about using this sentence :

If you need more intel, just ask me.

Do you think it's right ?

P.S. In french I'd translate Intel as Renseignement and Information as Information but in such context using Renseignement or Information would have the same meaning and that's what made me think about it.

Thanks for helping.

  • 1
    I don't think it would be correct in this context. In MGSV usually the context is special-ops/military so information about the enemy or current objective could be considered intel. Also in the game you develop an 'Intel' platform on mother base so information gathered by your Intel team is called intel. Sep 9, 2015 at 12:56

3 Answers 3


The word intelligence has two main senses: first, a cognitive process. Second, information of military or political importance, usually obtained through espionage. This is the sense that's used in the game, because it is a military context.

You can use it this way in normal English if you want, but it is definitely a military word and isn't normally used in non-military contexts (except perhaps other adversarial situations, such as rival businesses doing industrial espionage, etc).


The definition of intelligence that you're talking about covers a subset of the definition of information. Its use, especially when saying intel, is heavily context-dependent and is not appropriate in as many contexts as information is. Its definition in Metal Gear Solid involves the military and politics. In the context of military or political situations, it can be used to appropriately mean information. I should note that political situations can also encompass the various politics of businesses. For instance, if a business were to gather "intel" on a rival business, in the interest of advancing their position in the market. Outside of those contexts, I've only seen it used as satire or to sensationalize language.

2.2 Military or political information

- Oxford Dictionaries

1. Facts provided or learned about something or someone

- Oxford Dictionaries


Apart from the definitions you can find in a dictionary, you can refer to the following extract for further details:

In a nutshell:

  • Information describes: it tells us how the world is now. Knowledge prescribes: it tells us what to do on the basis of accumulated past experience. Intelligence decides: it guides, predicts and advises, telling us what may be done in circumstances not previously encountered, and what the outcome is likely to be.


  • is a meaningful, shareable pattern. We have evolved as a species, and learned as individuals, to recognise and ascribe meaning to patterns. A good example is the text you are reading now. This linguistic pattern is realised physically, grasped mentally, and can be shared socially.


  • Unlike belief and knowledge, intelligence is not information: it is a process, or an innate capacity to use information in order to respond to ever-changing requirements. It is a capacity to acquire, adapt, modify, extend and use information in order to solve problems. Therefore, intelligence is the ability to cope with unpredictable circumstances. But intelligence is not merely analytical: to survive and flourish in society, we must also have social and emotional intelligence. (However, I do not here assume an equating of intelligence with consciousness.)


  • I don't think this is the correct sense of "intelligence". It's not the cognitive process, but rather the military word for information about enemies. Sep 9, 2015 at 13:08
  • @Mr.ShinyandNew - Intelligence -The ability to acquire and apply knowledge and skills: an eminent man of great intelligence (first ODO definition) .oxforddictionaries.com/definition/english/intelligence
    – user66974
    Sep 9, 2015 at 13:12
  • Yes, that's the wrong definition. See my answer. Sep 9, 2015 at 13:14
  • +1 while I agree that in this context Mr.Shiny's answer makes more sense I don't think that this is a bad answer by any means and I don't think it deserves the downvotes Sep 9, 2015 at 14:34
  • @SamuelVimes This is a perfectly good answer to a different question than the one that was asked. It doesn't answer this question at all. Sep 9, 2015 at 17:52

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