ingenious

adjective
in·​ge·​nious | \ in-ˈjēn-yəs How to pronounce ingenious (audio) \

Definition of ingenious

1 : having or showing an unusual aptitude for discovering, inventing, or contriving an ingenious detective
2 : marked by originality, resourcefulness, and cleverness in conception or execution an ingenious contraption
3 obsolete : showing or calling for intelligence, aptitude, or discernment

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Other Words from ingenious

ingeniously adverb
ingeniousness noun

Choose the Right Synonym for ingenious

clever, adroit, cunning, ingenious mean having or showing practical wit or skill in contriving. clever stresses physical or mental quickness, deftness, or great aptitude. a person clever with horses adroit often implies a skillful use of expedients to achieve one's purpose in spite of difficulties. an adroit negotiator cunning implies great skill in constructing or creating. a filmmaker cunning in his use of special effects ingenious suggests the power of inventing or discovering a new way of accomplishing something. an ingenious software engineer

Examples of ingenious in a Sentence

How many dog-size bathrobes (an ingenious device) are out there? — David Colman, Vogue, April 2001 … spacecraft engineers tried to come up with ways to "unstick" the antenna. Those attempts failed, but by ingenious software and mission-sequencing techniques … the Galileo mission was still able to fulfill nearly all of its scientific requirements and return a rich quantity of scientific data … — Louis Friedman et al., Encyclopedia of the Solar System, 1999 … an ingenious method of checking errors … — W. David Gardner, Datamation, June 1982 The book has an ingenious plot. She was ingenious at finding ways to work more quickly. It was ingenious of him to arrange the schedule so precisely.
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Recent Examples on the Web In 1980, almost a decade after Bangladeshi independence, a local nonprofit known as BRAC devised an ingenious plan to evangelize the O.R.T. technique among small villages throughout the young nation. New York Times, "How Humanity Gave Itself an Extra Life," 27 Apr. 2021 But at least in an Oscars context, those behind them made necessary, ingenious pivots. David Canfield, EW.com, "Netflix won the year's most Oscars — and also severely underperformed," 26 Apr. 2021 There are some positive noises coming from Democrats involved in the talks, so an ingenious compromise that satisfies all sides seems possible. Stephen Collinson, CNN, "Biden's big climate pledge is another promise it will be hard to honor," 23 Apr. 2021 Key features: Beautifully restored 1920s Tudor recreates near original condition, but with ingenious techniques that aren’t seen. Judy Rose, Detroit Free Press, "$2.3M Tudor in Ann Arbor combines its past with big modern improvements," 17 Apr. 2021 The Pioneers carry plaques on their sides identifying the planet that dispatched the ships and, using outline drawings of a man and a woman, the ingenious species that invented them. Jeffrey Kluger, Time, "After Visiting Pluto, NASA's New Horizons Spacecraft Reaches Another Cosmic Milestone," 16 Apr. 2021 These ingenious little chains that basically act like necklaces and add flair to your mask wardrobe. Travel + Leisure, "14 Items You Should Bring on Every Road Trip, According to T+L Editors," 13 Apr. 2021 Public opinion swung harder against the companies, the result of a loud, ingenious, and effective direct-action campaign. Alexander Zaitchik, The New Republic, "How Bill Gates Impeded Global Access to Covid Vaccines," 12 Apr. 2021 Even the most ingenious substitutes, however, could not fill the vacancy choristers felt in their lives. New York Times, "The Skagit Valley," 8 Apr. 2021

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'ingenious.' 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 ingenious

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 3

History and Etymology for ingenious

Middle English ingenyous, from Middle French ingenieus, from Latin ingeniosus, from ingenium natural capacity — more at engine entry 1

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Time Traveler for ingenious

Time Traveler

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

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Last Updated

5 May 2021

Cite this Entry

“Ingenious.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/ingenious. Accessed 9 May. 2021.

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More Definitions for ingenious

ingenious

adjective

English Language Learners Definition of ingenious

: very smart or clever : having or showing ingenuity

ingenious

adjective
in·​ge·​nious | \ in-ˈjēn-yəs How to pronounce ingenious (audio) \

Kids Definition of ingenious

: showing ingenuity : clever an ingenious idea

Other Words from ingenious

ingeniously adverb

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Comments on ingenious

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