noun ap·ti·tude \ ˈap-tə-ˌtüd , -ˌtyüd \
|Updated on: 7 Aug 2018

Definition of aptitude

1 a : 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


play \ˌap-tə-ˈtü-dᵊn-əl, -ˈtyü-\ adjective



Examples of aptitude in a Sentence

  1. The new test is supposed to measure the aptitudes of the students.

  2. bored teenagers with an aptitude for getting into trouble

Recent Examples of aptitude from the Web

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.

Origin and Etymology of 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 1apt

Synonym Discussion of 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

APTITUDE Defined for English Language Learners


Definition of aptitude for English Language Learners

  • : a natural ability to do something or to learn something

APTITUDE Defined for Kids


noun ap·ti·tude \ ˈap-tə-ˌtüd , -ˌtyüd \

Definition of aptitude for Students

1 : natural ability : talent
  • He has an aptitude for music.
2 : capacity to learn
  • a test of aptitude

Medical Dictionary


noun 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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