adjective \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


Next Word in the Dictionary: ingenital
Previous Word in the Dictionary: ingeniosity
All Words Near: ingenious

Seen & Heard

What made you want to look up ingenious? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

Get Our Free Apps
Voice Search, Favorites,
Word of the Day, and More
Join Us on FB & Twitter
Get the Word of the Day and More