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

Keep scrolling for more

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.
See More
Recent Examples on the Web Those 2016 attacks were devilishly ingenious, driving wedge after wedge into America’s most seismic fractures, but none would have worked had those divisions not been there, ready to exploit. Jonathan Freedland, The New York Review of Books, "Disinformed to Death," 3 Aug. 2020 The wing, which is completely new, has an ingenious flap to reduce the speed of landings and distance of takeoffs. Wayne Whittaker, Popular Mechanics, "Meet the B-29!," 15 June 2020 From restaurants to hotels, furniture to space modules, the French designer Philippe Starck has put his ingenious stamp on more than 10,000 designs. Shivani Vora, ELLE Decor, "Philippe Starck Takes His Restaurant Design to a Whole New Level," 6 Apr. 2020 That cousin from Pueblo would pop over to catch a Bears game, and the pair had an ingenious way of assuring a free lift back home, decades before Uber. Sean Keeler, The Denver Post, "Keeler: What does a Rockies fan who’s been to every opening day since 1993 do when there isn’t one?," 2 Apr. 2020 Läckberg has made a career out of writing ingenious psychological suspense stories about vile people doing vile things. Maureen Corrigan, Washington Post, "Camilla Läckberg’s ‘The Golden Cage’ is a psychological suspense story about vile people doing vile things," 6 July 2020 The one most central to EarthBound's plot echoes the plight of those who possess literature most's famous ring, but some of the smaller strokes are no less ingenious. Nathan Mattise, Ars Technica, "Homebound with EarthBound," 5 July 2020 But like many of these century-old brands, stories about how the Eskimo Pie came to be, focus largely on how the creator got rich overnight thanks to his ingenious idea, and little to nothing is said about the name's place in history. Michelle Santiago Cortés, refinery29.com, "Eskimo Pies Are Over As The Company Discontinues Racist Branding," 23 June 2020 If the fear of slimy squash and blackened banana peels has stopped you from composting, this one-gallon bin is an ingenious solution. Popular Science, "Kitchen compost bins to limit your contributions to landfills," 19 June 2020

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.

See More

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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about ingenious

Time Traveler for ingenious

Time Traveler

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

See more words from the same century

Statistics for ingenious

Last Updated

8 Aug 2020

Cite this Entry

“Ingenious.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/ingenious. Accessed 8 Aug. 2020.

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for ingenious

ingenious

adjective
How to pronounce ingenious (audio)

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

Keep scrolling for more

Comments on ingenious

What made you want to look up ingenious? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

Test Your Vocabulary

Original Meanings Quiz

  • rembrandt painting a young scholar and his tutor
  • Which of the following is the earliest known sense of the word awe?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

TAKE THE QUIZ
Bee Cubed

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!