adjective in·ge·nious \in-ˈjēn-yəs\

: very smart or clever : having or showing ingenuity

Full Definition of INGENIOUS

obsolete :  showing or calling for intelligence, aptitude, or discernment
:  having or showing an unusual aptitude for discovering, inventing, or contriving <an ingenious detective>
:  marked by originality, resourcefulness, and cleverness in conception or execution <an ingenious contraption>
in·ge·nious·ly adverb
in·ge·nious·ness noun

Examples of INGENIOUS

  1. The book has an ingenious plot.
  2. She was ingenious at finding ways to work more quickly.
  3. It was ingenious of him to arrange the schedule so precisely.
  4. How many dog-size bathrobes (an ingenious device) are out there? —David Colman, Vogue, April 2001


Middle English ingenyous, from Middle French ingenieus, from Latin ingeniosus, from ingenium natural capacity — more at engine
First Known Use: 15th century

Synonym Discussion of INGENIOUS

clever, adroit, cunning, ingenious mean having or showing practical wit or skill in contriving. clever stresses physical or mental quickness, deftness, or great aptitude <a person clever with horses>. adroit often implies a skillful use of expedients to achieve one's purpose in spite of difficulties <an adroit negotiator>. cunning implies great skill in constructing or creating <a filmmaker cunning in his use of special effects>. ingenious suggests the power of inventing or discovering a new way of accomplishing something <an ingenious software engineer>.
INGENIOUS Defined for Kids


adjective in·ge·nious \in-ˈjēn-yəs\

Definition of INGENIOUS for Kids

:  showing ingenuity :  clever <an ingenious idea>
in·ge·nious·ly adverb


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