ap·​ti·​tude | \ ˈap-tə-ˌtüd How to pronounce aptitude (audio) , -ˌtyüd \

Definition of aptitude

1a : inclination, tendency an aptitude for hard work
b : a natural ability : talent an aptitude for gymnastics
2 : capacity for learning an aptitude for languages
3 : general suitability : aptness

Other Words from aptitude

aptitudinal \ ˌap-​tə-​ˈtü-​də-​nəl How to pronounce aptitude (audio) , -​ˈtyü-​ \ adjective
aptitudinally adverb

Choose the Right Synonym for aptitude

gift, faculty, aptitude, bent, talent, genius, knack mean a special ability for doing something. gift often implies special favor by God or nature. the gift of singing beautifully faculty applies to an innate or less often acquired ability for a particular accomplishment or function. a faculty for remembering names aptitude implies a natural liking for some activity and the likelihood of success in it. a mechanical aptitude bent is nearly equal to aptitude but it stresses inclination perhaps more than specific ability. a family with an artistic bent talent suggests a marked natural ability that needs to be developed. has enough talent to succeed genius suggests impressive inborn creative ability. has no great genius for poetry knack implies a comparatively minor but special ability making for ease and dexterity in performance. the knack of getting along

Examples of aptitude in a Sentence

The new test is supposed to measure the aptitudes of the students. bored teenagers with an aptitude for getting into trouble
Recent Examples on the Web DeMille displayed an aptitude for painting as an adolescent but the medium didn’t resonate with him. Mike Dojc, Forbes, 18 Oct. 2021 When the researchers further controlled for these genetic and environmental influences, an early start was no longer predictive of musical aptitude. Cindi May, Scientific American, 21 May 2021 Sexton showed an aptitude for music at an early age and played the flute in the marching band at Cortez High School in Phoenix. Russ Wiles, The Arizona Republic, 13 Oct. 2021 But one player who did connect with Brady with impressive aptitude was Jabar Gaffney, a veteran free agent who joined the team midway through the ‘06 season. BostonGlobe.com, 28 Sep. 2021 Ultimately, Hazmi and Mihdhar proved to be hopeless pilots, lacking the aptitude for basic flight. San Diego Union-Tribune, 10 Sep. 2021 Rather, leverage tools and assessments that help focus on aptitude, capability and motivation. Expert Panel®, Forbes, 15 June 2021 Across the years, SoCal streetwear brands have unquestionably defined and redefined cool — from Stüssy and OBEY to Fear of God — and through it all, Pro Club has endured with the kind of aptitude and foresight that is rare for legacy companies. Jason Parham, Los Angeles Times, 16 Sep. 2021 Both carry on her legacy of giving anyone with aptitude the opportunity to participate, regardless of their means. Ariel Shapiro, Forbes, 4 Sep. 2021

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

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

History and Etymology for aptitude

Middle English, "tendency, likelihood," borrowed from Medieval Latin aptitūdō, going back to Late Latin, "fitness," from Latin aptus "fastened, prepared, suitable, fitting" + -i- -i- + -tūdō -tude — more at apt entry 1

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

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aptitude test

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Last Updated

15 Nov 2021

Cite this Entry

“Aptitude.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/aptitude. Accessed 26 Nov. 2021.

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More Definitions for aptitude



English Language Learners Definition of aptitude

: a natural ability to do something or to learn something


ap·​ti·​tude | \ ˈap-tə-ˌtüd How to pronounce aptitude (audio) , -ˌtyüd \

Kids Definition of aptitude

1 : natural ability : talent He has an aptitude for music.
2 : capacity to learn a test of aptitude


ap·​ti·​tude | \ ˈap-tə-ˌt(y)üd How to pronounce aptitude (audio) \

Medical Definition of aptitude

: a natural or acquired capacity or ability especially : a tendency, capacity, or inclination to learn or understand

More from Merriam-Webster on aptitude

Nglish: Translation of aptitude for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of aptitude for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about aptitude


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