genius

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Synonym Chooser

How does the noun genius differ from other similar words?

Some common synonyms of genius are aptitude, bent, faculty, gift, knack, and talent. While all these words mean "a special ability for doing something," genius suggests impressive inborn creative ability.

has no great genius for poetry

When is aptitude a more appropriate choice than genius?

The words aptitude and genius are synonyms, but do differ in nuance. Specifically, aptitude implies a natural liking for some activity and the likelihood of success in it.

a mechanical aptitude

How do bent and aptitude relate to one another, in the sense of genius?

Bent is nearly equal to aptitude but it stresses inclination perhaps more than specific ability.

a family with an artistic bent

Where would faculty be a reasonable alternative to genius?

While the synonyms faculty and genius are close in meaning, faculty applies to an innate or less often acquired ability for a particular accomplishment or function.

a faculty for remembering names

When would gift be a good substitute for genius?

While in some cases nearly identical to genius, gift often implies special favor by God or nature.

the gift of singing beautifully

When is it sensible to use knack instead of genius?

The meanings of knack and genius largely overlap; however, knack implies a comparatively minor but special ability making for ease and dexterity in performance.

the knack of getting along

When could talent be used to replace genius?

The words talent and genius can be used in similar contexts, but talent suggests a marked natural ability that needs to be developed.

has enough talent to succeed

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Cite this Entry

“Genius.” Merriam-Webster.com Thesaurus, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/thesaurus/genius. Accessed 3 Mar. 2024.

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