For instance, profit margins are concrete, observable numbers whereas human needs can't easily be quantified.

The sentence I'm trying to write is:

Due to the fact that human needs are ______, ...

  • 6
    intangible or abstract, immaterial, etc. If you don't like any of those, they still might be a good place to start looking for synonyms. Oct 3, 2017 at 15:59
  • Intangible is exactly what I'm looking for, thanks!
    – bhav1001
    Oct 3, 2017 at 16:05

1 Answer 1


late Middle English (in the sense ‘formed by cohesion, solidified’): from French concret or Latin concretus, past participle of concrescere ‘grow together.’ Early use was also as a grammatical term designating a quality belonging to a substance (usually expressed by an adjective such as white in white paper) as opposed to the quality itself (expressed by an abstract noun such as whiteness); later concrete came to be used to refer to nouns embodying attributes (e.g., fool, hero), as opposed to the attributes themselves (e.g., foolishness, heroism), and this is the basis of the modern use as the opposite of ‘abstract’ The noun sense ‘building material’ dates from the mid 19th century.


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