ap·ti·tude | \ˈap-tə-ˌtüd, -ˌtyüd\

Definition of aptitude 

1a : inclination, tendency an aptitude for hard work

b : a natural ability : talent an aptitude for gymnastics

2 : capacity for learning an aptitude for languages

3 : general suitability : aptness

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Other Words from aptitude

aptitudinal \ˌap-tə-ˈtü-dᵊn-əl, -ˈtyü- \ adjective
aptitudinally adverb

Choose the Right Synonym for aptitude

gift, faculty, aptitude, bent, talent, genius, knack mean a special ability for doing something. gift often implies special favor by God or nature. the gift of singing beautifully faculty applies to an innate or less often acquired ability for a particular accomplishment or function. a faculty for remembering names aptitude implies a natural liking for some activity and the likelihood of success in it. a mechanical aptitude bent is nearly equal to aptitude but it stresses inclination perhaps more than specific ability. a family with an artistic bent talent suggests a marked natural ability that needs to be developed. has enough talent to succeed genius suggests impressive inborn creative ability. has no great genius for poetry knack implies a comparatively minor but special ability making for ease and dexterity in performance. the knack of getting along

Examples of aptitude in a Sentence

The new test is supposed to measure the aptitudes of the students. bored teenagers with an aptitude for getting into trouble

Recent Examples on the Web

But the choice was considered fitting after the controversial departure of her predecessor Larry Summers, who created an uproar with his statements about women’s aptitude for science research. Laura Krantz, BostonGlobe.com, "College leaders want next Harvard president to stand up to Trump," 7 Feb. 2018 Of that group, Arias’ aptitude shined bright enough to warrant an assignment to low Single-A Fort Wayne last year as a 17-year-old old (.524 OPS). Jeff Sanders, sandiegouniontribune.com, "Beyond Tatis, Padres' system long on shortstop talent," 4 Apr. 2018 If a student shows an aptitude for math, for example, that could lead to a career as a line producer. Ryan Faughnder, latimes.com, "Movie studio seeks a behind-the-scenes role in L.A. schools to help fix Hollywood's inclusion problem," 29 June 2018 So in 2008, at the age of 19, Berry picked up the hammer throw for the first time—and quickly discovered an unparalleled passion and aptitude for the sport. Jenny Mccoy, SELF, "Olympic Hammer Thrower Gwen Berry Shares Her Intense Training Regimen," 12 July 2018 But giving computers the ability to sort information with the same aptitude as a human is a core competency of AI. James Vincent, The Verge, "Apple’s new AI chief might actually be the right person to fix Siri," 11 July 2018 Koko, the gorilla whose apparent aptitude for sign language endeared her to fans around the world, died in her sleep on Tuesday morning, according to the Gorilla Foundation, which oversaw her care. Niraj Chokshi, BostonGlobe.com, "Koko the Gorilla, famous for using sign language, dies at 46," 22 June 2018 But our aptitude for managing the future is no stronger than our skill at making sense out of the past. Nathan Heller, The New Yorker, "Who Really Stands to Win from Universal Basic Income?," 24 Mar. 2014 Down to the Bone), all of which share an aptitude for small-scale storytelling, an incredible feel for realistically depicting environments and communities, and quiet but astonishing performances. David Sims, The Atlantic, "Leave No Trace Is a Shattering, Essential Drama," 28 June 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'aptitude.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of aptitude

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

History and Etymology for aptitude

Middle English, "tendency, likelihood," borrowed from Medieval Latin aptitūdō, going back to Late Latin, "fitness," from Latin aptus "fastened, prepared, suitable, fitting" + -i- -i- + -tūdō -tude — more at apt entry 1

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Last Updated

16 Oct 2018

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Time Traveler for aptitude

The first known use of aptitude was in the 15th century

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More Definitions for aptitude



English Language Learners Definition of aptitude

: a natural ability to do something or to learn something


ap·ti·tude | \ˈap-tə-ˌtüd, -ˌtyüd\

Kids Definition of aptitude

1 : natural ability : talent He has an aptitude for music.

2 : capacity to learn a test of aptitude


ap·ti·tude | \ˈap-tə-ˌt(y)üd \

Medical Definition of aptitude 

: a natural or acquired capacity or ability especially : a tendency, capacity, or inclination to learn or understand

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