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 career aptitude tests pointed her toward a future in law enforcement, Rae Brown had little interest in the profession until the death of Philando Castile. Liz Sawyer, Star Tribune, "Amid racial reckoning, departments struggle to attract and retain officers of color," 17 Oct. 2020 The win showed a continuing aptitude for Chicago-area breweries to make hazy, hop-forward beers, which the Great American Beer Festival began honoring two years ago. Josh Noel, chicagotribune.com, "A modest showing for Chicago breweries at the Great American Beer Festival, but Penrose strikes hazy IPA gold," 17 Oct. 2020 His aptitude felt uncanny, as if he had been touched by something extraterrestrial. Amanda Petrusich, The New Yorker, "Eddie Van Halen’s Otherworldly Sounds," 7 Oct. 2020 Most measures in psychology, from aptitude tests to personality scales, are useful for predicting how groups will respond on average, not forecasting how particular individuals will behave. Keith Payne, Scientific American, "How to Think about ‘Implicit Bias’," 27 Mar. 2018 Although satellites have been used in fire spotting for about 20 years, a new generation of satellites and onboard tools have dramatically improved their aptitude for the task. Carolyn Said, SFChronicle.com, "Wildfire spotting goes high tech: Can Silicon Valley save Northern California?," 29 Aug. 2020 In a scathing rebuke Wednesday, former president Barack Obama blistered Trump not just for his policies but also for his aptitude. Ledyard King, USA TODAY, "Voting and victory: Democrats focus on Donald Trump now that Joe Biden and Kamala Harris are the ticket," 21 Aug. 2020 Hytower takes a similar approach in teaching an honors math course for students believed to have an aptitude for math despite low test scores. Jeffrey Mervis, Science | AAAS, "Few Black educators win prestigious White House teaching award," 12 Aug. 2020 Use your imagination to impress someone with your creative genius or business aptitude. oregonlive, "Horoscope for August 11, 2020: Scorpio, use your imagination; Capricorn, develop a plan of action," 11 Aug. 2020

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

21 Oct 2020

Cite this Entry

“Aptitude.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/aptitude. Accessed 28 Oct. 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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