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

Yet Trisolaris’s dominance is far from assured, given the ingenuity of the underdogs. Jiayang Fan, The New Yorker, "Liu Cixin’s War of the Worlds," 17 June 2019 The building’s beauty is a matter of architectural ingenuity, but also a matter of perspective. Justin Chang,, "Review: ‘The Last Black Man in San Francisco’ is a gorgeous, moving ode to a city in flux," 4 June 2019 The updo options for short hair are more extensive than ever; thanks to the ingenuity of some the red carpet's top hairstylists. Glamour, "The 20 Best Updos for Short Hair," 18 May 2019 Yet despite their lack of mechanistic understanding, these individuals showed leaps of ingenuity no less startling than those of today’s physicians and genome rewriters. Adrian Woolfson, WSJ, "‘The Mystery of the Exploding Teeth’ Review: Desperate Remedies," 12 Dec. 2018 For decades, Armstrong was thought of as an all-American hero who achieved greatness thanks to all-American ingenuity. Matt Blitz, Popular Mechanics, "What "First Man" Gets Right About the Apollo Moon Landing," 11 Oct. 2018 Indeed, books about girls and women—about their voices, their dreams, their achievements, their vision, grit, guts, ingenuity, defiance, STEM-suitability—continue to flood the market. Meghan Cox Gurdon, WSJ, "Children’s Books: You’re Never Too Young to Take a Stand," 28 Dec. 2018 Additionally, the Sears kit home program showcased some ingenuity in turning a loss into a sales leader. Patrick Sisson, Curbed, "How Sears Kit Homes changed housing," 16 Oct. 2018 That’s what captivated me the most, them being able to use their ingenuity to come up with creative solutions and out-of-the-box thinking. Hadley Keller, House Beautiful, "What It's Really Like to Be a Designer on Trading Spaces," 11 Mar. 2019

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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Statistics for ingenuity

Last Updated

24 Jun 2019

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Time Traveler for ingenuity

The first known use of ingenuity was circa 1592

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More Definitions for ingenuity



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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Comments on ingenuity

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


having a desire to acquire more things

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