Definition of genius
- He has been accused of being his brother's evil genius.
- the genius of our democratic government
- had a genius for getting along with boys
- —Mary Ross
Theme music by Joshua Stamper ©2006 New Jerusalem Music/ASCAP
Albert Einstein and Isaac Newton were great scientific geniuses.
You don't have to be a genius to see that this plan will never work.
He was a genius at handling the press.
She's now widely recognized as an artist of genius.
He's admired for his comic genius.
My plan is simple—that's the genius of it.
The genius of these new computers is their portability.
These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'genius.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.
The belief system of the ancient Romans included spirits that were somewhere in between gods and humans and were thought to accompany each person through life as a protector. The Latin name for this spirit was genius, which came from the verb gignere, meaning "to beget." This sense of "attendant spirit" was first borrowed into English in the 14th century. Part of such a spirit's role was to protect a person's moral character, and from that idea an extended sense developed in the 16th century meaning "an identifying character." In time, that meaning was extended to cover a special ability for doing something, and eventually genius acquired senses referring particularly to "very great intelligence" and "people of great intelligence."
First Known Use: 14th centurySee Words from the same year
What made you want to look up genius? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).
to lessen the seriousness or strength of
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