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Alternative forms[edit]


Borrowed from Middle French ingénieux, from Old French engenious, from Latin ingeniōsus (endowed with good natural capacity, gifted with genius), from ingenium (innate or natural quality, natural capacity, genius), from in- (in) +‎ gignere (to produce), Old Latin genere. See also engine.


  • IPA(key): /ɪnˈdʒiːnjəs/, /ɪnˈdʒiːniəs/
  • (file)
  • Rhymes: -iːniəs
  • Hyphenation: in‧ge‧nious


ingenious (comparative more ingenious, superlative most ingenious)

  1. (of a person) Displaying genius or brilliance; inventive.
    This fellow is ingenious; he fixed a problem I didn't even know I had.
  2. (of a thing) Characterized by genius; cleverly done or contrived.
    That is an ingenious model of the atom.
  3. Witty; showing originality or sagacity
    • 1834, Letitia Elizabeth Landon, Francesca Carrara, volume 1, page 147:
      I have scarcely recovered the surprise of the ingenious question, before I meet another surprise in the still more ingenious answer
    Synonyms: shrewd, adroit, keen, sagacious
    He sent me an ingenious reply to an email.

Usage notes[edit]

Do not confuse with ingenuous.


Related terms[edit]


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