Definition of prodigy
1a : a portentous event : omenb : something extraordinary or inexplicable
2a : an extraordinary, marvelous, or unusual accomplishment, deed, or eventb : a highly talented child or youth
prodigy was our Word of the Day on 09/26/2008. Hear the podcast!
Examples of prodigy in a sentence
a new drug that is being hailed as the latest prodigy of the medical world
Did You Know?
Is a prodigy a genius or a monster - or both? Nowadays, it's the talent that shines through, but back in the 15th century the word's meaning was more strongly influenced by that of its Latin ancestor, prodigium, meaning "omen" or "monster." Back then, a prodigy could be any strange or weird thing that might be an omen of things to come. Even in modern English, the word sometimes refers to an extraordinary deed or accomplishment. P.G. Wodehouse used that sense when he described how a character named Pongo Twistleton was "performing prodigies with the [billiard] cue."
Origin and Etymology of prodigy
Middle English, from Latin prodigium omen, monster, from pro-, prod- + -igium (akin to aio I say) — more at adage
First Known Use: 15th century
PRODIGY Defined for English Language Learners
Definition of prodigy for English Language Learners
: a young person who is unusually talented in some way
PRODIGY Defined for Kids
Seen and Heard
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