pro·​di·​gious | \ prə-ˈdi-jəs How to pronounce prodigious (audio) \

Definition of prodigious

1 : causing amazement or wonder
2 : extraordinary in bulk, quantity, or degree : enormous
3a : resembling or befitting a prodigy : strange, unusual
b obsolete : being an omen : portentous

Other Words from prodigious

prodigiously adverb
prodigiousness noun

Choose the Right Synonym for prodigious

monstrous, prodigious, tremendous, stupendous mean extremely impressive. monstrous implies a departure from the normal (as in size, form, or character) and often carries suggestions of deformity, ugliness, or fabulousness. the monstrous waste of the project prodigious suggests a marvelousness exceeding belief, usually in something felt as going far beyond a previous maximum (as of goodness, greatness, intensity, or size). made a prodigious effort and rolled the stone aside tremendous may imply a power to terrify or inspire awe. the tremendous roar of the cataract stupendous implies a power to stun or astound, usually because of size, numbers, complexity, or greatness beyond description. a stupendous volcanic eruption

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Prodigious, monstrous, tremendous, and stupendous all mean extremely impressive. Prodigious suggests marvelousness exceeding belief, usually in something that is felt as going far beyond a previous maximum of goodness, greatness, intensity, or size ("acrobats performing prodigious aerial feats"). Monstrous implies a departure from the normal in size, form, or character ("a monstrous billboard"); it can also suggest that someone or something is ugly, cruel, or vicious ("a monstrous criminal"; "a monstrous crime"). Tremendous and stupendous both imply a power, the former to terrify or awe ("the singer has tremendous talent"), the latter to stun or astound ("the young cast gave a stupendous performance"). Prodigious and the related noun prodigy derive from the Latin prodigium, meaning "omen" or "monster"; at one time, both words were used in English to refer to portents, or omens, but these senses are now considered obsolete.

Examples of prodigious in a Sentence

Graceful afield and afoot in his youth, he bullied into a prodigious slugger in his final years. — Tom Verducci, Sports Illustrated, 28 July 2003 She had what was known in those days as a hollow leg, meaning she was able to drink prodigious amounts of liquor without getting drunk, or so she thought. Vanity Fair, July 2000 … Isaac [Newton] was allowed to resume at Grantham and go on to Cambridge, where … he was to remain for nearly thirty-five secluded, prodigious years. — John Updike, New Yorker, 30 Mar. 1998 stage magicians performing prodigious feats for rapt audiences a prodigious supply of canned food kept in the basement for emergencies
Recent Examples on the Web Yamagami’s mother had been a member of the church for more than two decades, making prodigious donations over her family’s objections. Ben Dooley,, 23 July 2022 The novel, bursting with creative genius, displays Dunn’s prodigious understanding of family dynamics, especially among siblings in this marginalized troupe of performers. Kali Fajardo-anstine, The Atlantic, 20 July 2022 As for the brakes, the RN22e's prodigious regenerative braking capability is bolstered by four-piston monoblock calipers and 15.7-inch two-piece ventilated rotors up front, with more pedestrian single-piston sliding calipers doing the deed out back. Dan Edmunds, Car and Driver, 15 July 2022 In 2021, Corrin starred in Joseph Charlton’s Anna X, a play that, for legal reasons, was not officially based on Delvey’s prodigious exploits, but did draw on them. Vogue, 6 July 2022 With a prodigious scoring partner and an improved supporting cast, LaVine helped lead the Bulls to their first postseason berth in five years — his first trip to the playoffs. Julia Poe, Chicago Tribune, 1 July 2022 Some of the offenders are pelicans, who normally dive for fish, but can now just descend to the water’s surface and dip up prodigious mouthfuls in their trough-like beaks. Manasee Wagh, Popular Mechanics, 29 June 2022 Hadero’s prodigious storytelling is part testimony, part warning, part balm. Terry Hong, The Christian Science Monitor, 29 June 2022 Manning's prodigious throwing ability was apparent immediately at Isidore Newman High School in New Orleans, the same school his father and two uncles attended. Toyloy Brown Iii, USA TODAY, 23 June 2022 See More

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'prodigious.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

First Known Use of prodigious

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 3b

History and Etymology for prodigious

see prodigy

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

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Dictionary Entries Near prodigious

prodigal son/daughter



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Last Updated

27 Jul 2022

Cite this Entry

“Prodigious.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 9 Aug. 2022.

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More from Merriam-Webster on prodigious

Nglish: Translation of prodigious for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of prodigious for Arabic Speakers


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