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

Arthur’s attitude aside, the group dynamic turns out to be an ingenious way to structure an open-world game. Andrew Webster, The Verge, "Red Dead Redemption 2 is the most convincing open-world game ever made," 25 Oct. 2018 Although the internet in China is heavily censored and blocked, determined and clever netizens can always come up with ingenious ways to criticize the government and its representatives. Victor H. Mair, Newsweek, "China's War on Words Show Xi Jinping Is A Dictator For Life," 28 Feb. 2018 No one wants to believe that someone can be an ingenious yet a terrible human being. Morgan Jerkins, Teen Vogue, "R. Kelly and Other Powerful Men Have Always Manipulated Their Teen Fans," 9 Jan. 2019 Whether that’s unsustainable or ingenious depends on your views of Tesla and Musk in general. Jack Stewart, WIRED, "Tesla Finally Hits Its Model 3 Goal—And Immediately Ups the Ante," 2 July 2018 The conceit is rather ingenious: to use a graphically inventive style of animation to manufacture a caper involving the theft of famous paintings. Seattle Times Staff, The Seattle Times, "12 movies open April 12 in Seattle; our reviewers weigh in," 12 Apr. 2019 Remember: ideas that don't seem sensical at first (like a blush evening gown doubling as your wedding dress) are sometimes the most ingenious. Christian Oth, Harper's BAZAAR, "17 Non-Traditional Gowns For the Renegade Bride," 1 Nov. 2018 The film is visually ingenious and funny, yet grounded by pointed arguments about the obstacles to black success in America, the power of strikes and the soul-draining predations of capitalism. Jonah Weiner, New York Times, "How Boots Riley Infiltrated Hollywood," 22 May 2018 In second was the first photo of baby Miles (sweet chubby-cheeked muffin) and third was their ingenious Halloween costume: Chrissy as the Queen, and Legend as Prince Philip. Katherine J. Igoe, Marie Claire, "John Legend's Top Nine on Instagram Is Full of "Love and Lactation"," 28 Dec. 2018

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

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Dictionary Entries near ingenious

ingenerate

ingenies

ingeniosity

ingenious

ingenital

ingenue

ingenuity

Statistics for ingenious

Last Updated

8 Jun 2019

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Time Traveler for ingenious

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

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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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showing great care, attention, and effort

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