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See also: génius and Genius


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From Latin genius ‎(the guardian spirit of a person, spirit, inclination, wit, genius, literally inborn nature), from gignō ‎(to beget, produce), Old Latin genō, from the Proto-Indo-European root *ǵenh₁-; see genus.



genius ‎(not comparable)

  1. (informal) ingenious, very clever, or original.
    What a genius idea!


genius ‎(plural geniuses or genii)

  1. (eulogistic) Someone possessing extraordinary intelligence or skill; especially somebody who has demonstrated this by a creative or original work in science, music, art etc.
    • 1898, Winston Churchill, chapter 1, in The Celebrity:
      In the old days, to my commonplace and unobserving mind, he gave no evidences of genius whatsoever. He never read me any of his manuscripts, […], and therefore my lack of detection of his promise may in some degree be pardoned.
  2. Extraordinary mental capacity.
  3. Inspiration, a mental leap, an extraordinary creative process.
    a work of genius.
  4. (Roman mythology) The guardian spirit of a place or person.
  5. A way of thinking, optimizing one's capacity for learning and understanding.



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From Proto-Indo-European *ǵenh₁- ‎(to beget).



genius m ‎(genitive geniī); second declension

  1. the deity or guardian spirit of a person, place, etc.
  2. (with respect to the enjoyment of life) the spirit of social enjoyment, fondness for good living, taste, appetite, inclinations
  3. (of the intellect) wit, talents, genius (rare)


Second declension.

Case Singular Plural
nominative genius geniī
genitive geniī
dative geniō geniīs
accusative genium geniōs
ablative geniō geniīs
vocative genī geniī

1Found in older Latin (until the Augustan Age).


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Talent hits a target no one else can hit; Genius hits a target no one else can see.- Arthur Schopenhauer



  • genius in Charlton T. Lewis & Charles Short (1879) A Latin Dictionary, Oxford: Clarendon Press
  • genius in Charlton T. Lewis (1891) An Elementary Latin Dictionary, New York: Harper & Brothers
  • GENIUS” in Charles du Fresne du Cange’s Glossarium Mediæ et Infimæ Latinitatis (augmented edition, 1883–1887)
  • genius” in Félix Gaffiot (1934), Dictionnaire Illustré Latin-Français, Paris: Hachette.
  • genius in Harry Thurston Peck, editor (1898) Harper's Dictionary of Classical Antiquities, New York: Harper & Brothers
  • genius in William Smith, editor (1848) A Dictionary of Greek Biography and Mythology, London: John Murray
  • genius in William Smith et al., editor (1890) A Dictionary of Greek and Roman Antiquities, London: William Wayte. G. E. Marindin