in·​ge·​nu·​i·​ty | \ ˌin-jə-ˈnü-ə-tē How to pronounce ingenuity (audio) , -ˈnyü- \
plural ingenuities

Definition of ingenuity

1a : skill or cleverness in devising or combining : inventiveness
b : cleverness or aptness of design or contrivance
2 : an ingenious device or contrivance
3 obsolete : candor, ingenuousness

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Examples of ingenuity in a Sentence

She showed amazing ingenuity in finding ways to cut costs. It will take considerable ingenuity to fix these problems.
Recent Examples on the Web So while active-safety systems are getting smarter, clearly they still can't be trusted to fully comprehend the ingenuity of humans. Roberto Baldwin, Car and Driver, "Autopilot and Mobileye Driver-Assist Systems Fooled by a Projector," 30 Jan. 2020 Many of these changes came to us compliments of the ingenuity of seniors today. Lois Szymanski,, "Szymanski: Caring for those who cared for us is a moral obligation," 15 Nov. 2019 The result, courtesy of the ingenuity of the Khasi and Jaintia people who trek these paths from their first baby steps: the living tree-root bridges of the Cherrapunji region. Paul Salopek, National Geographic, "Living tree bridges in India stand strong for hundreds of years," 11 Nov. 2019 The sheer ingenuity of Ms Ellmann’s wordplay, the fabulous profusion of her recipes, catalogues and inventories, from a freezer’s contents to confectionery brands, imbue every passage with fun as well as a sardonic poetry. The Economist, "“Ducks, Newburyport” is an ingenious feat of storytelling," 24 Oct. 2019 But our collective love for these dishes is more than just a celebration of East and Southeast Asian cuisines: The texture itself reflects the ingenuity of the cooks behind them. Elyse Inamine, Bon Appétit, "Everyone Loves Crispy and Crunchy, But What About Chewy?," 21 Oct. 2019 Human ingenuity keeps pushing innovation forward, far beyond what was imagined even a few years ago. Andrea Gawrylewski, Scientific American, "Call of the Wild," 11 July 2019 But science always builds on what’s already known, and ingenuity is a talent to be recognized and nurtured. John Donvan, WSJ, "‘The Class’ Review: Science-Fair Confidential," 16 Dec. 2018 Yeah, there are some cool new guns for 2020, but the real news—the real ingenuity—is in the ammunition arena. Richard Mann, Field & Stream, "Best New Hunting, Long-Range, and Handgun Ammo of the 2020 SHOT Show," 22 Jan. 2020

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

circa 1592, in the meaning defined at sense 3

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Time Traveler for ingenuity

Time Traveler

The first known use of ingenuity was circa 1592

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Statistics for ingenuity

Last Updated

18 Feb 2020

Cite this Entry

“Ingenuity.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 29 Feb. 2020.

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More Definitions for ingenuity


How to pronounce ingenuity (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of ingenuity

: skill or cleverness that allows someone to solve problems, invent things, etc.
: a clever device or method


in·​ge·​nu·​ity | \ ˌin-jə-ˈnü-ə-tē How to pronounce ingenuity (audio) , -ˈnyü- \
plural ingenuities

Kids Definition of ingenuity

: skill or cleverness in discovering, inventing, or planning

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