ap·​ti·​tude | \ ˈap-tə-ˌtüd How to pronounce aptitude (audio) , -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-​də-​nəl How to pronounce aptitudinal (audio) , -​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 Although the tracks appear to have been made by a terrestrial animal, the researchers don't rule out the possibility that the crocodylomorph had some aquatic aptitude. Daisy Hernandez, Popular Mechanics, "Prehistoric Crocodiles Might Have Walked on Two Legs," 21 June 2020 Early on Jerome Powell, the chairman of America’s Federal Reserve, showed signs of an aptitude for managing collective confidence. The Economist, "Free exchange Americans need more guidance from the Fed," 11 July 2020 Moss is arguably one of the most skilled actresses working, a viable heir to Laura Dern in her aptitude for depicting female breakdowns. Philippa Snow, The New Republic, "Shirley Jackson and the Horrors of Marriage," 12 June 2020 Spago has an aptitude for keeping up with the times but smartly keeps one foot in the past. Patricia Escárcega, latimes.com, "Spago at middle age: Is Wolfgang Puck’s flagship restaurant still relevant?," 27 June 2019 Starting in high school, teachers, counselors and administrators should present trade/vocational schools as an alternative and equal pathway to success for students who indicate no interest in or aptitude for purely academic work. San Diego Union-Tribune, "Your Say: How can we improve public education?," 14 June 2019 They were selected for their interest and aptitude for math and science to engage with and learn from ExxonMobil employees. Dallas News, "ExxonMobil works to give girls light-bulb moments," 1 Mar. 2020 That aptitude revealed itself again Thursday, taking shape in Prokofiev that was the musical equivalent of a rolling tank, a steady, often blunt onslaught that was both difficult to take and impossible not to respect. Zachary Lewis, cleveland, "Cleveland Orchestra proves its versatility on night of Prokofiev, Bridge, and Dukas," 31 Jan. 2020 The biggest challenge for my students is attitude, not aptitude. Suzanne Wright, USA TODAY, "Time for a Tutor?," 3 Aug. 2019

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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Time Traveler for aptitude

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for aptitude

Last Updated

10 Aug 2020

Cite this Entry

“Aptitude.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/aptitude. Accessed 11 Aug. 2020.

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More Definitions for aptitude


How to pronounce aptitude (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of aptitude

: a natural ability to do something or to learn something


ap·​ti·​tude | \ ˈap-tə-ˌtüd How to pronounce aptitude (audio) , -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 How to pronounce aptitude (audio) \

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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