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From Middle English prodige (portent), from Latin prōdigium (omen, portent, prophetic sign).



prodigy (plural prodigies)

  1. (now rare) An extraordinary thing seen as an omen; a portent. [from 15th c.]
    • 1971, Keith Thomas, Religion and the Decline of Magic, Folio Society 2012, p. 87:
      John Foxe believed that special prodigies had heralded the Reformation.
    • 1715, Homer, Iliad, translated by Alexander Pope, Book XII:
      These on the farther bank now stood and gazed,
      By Heaven alarm’d, by prodigies amazed:
      A signal omen stopp’d the passing host,
      Their martial fury in their wonder lost.
  2. An extraordinary occurrence or creature; an anomaly, especially a monster; a freak. [from 16th c.]
  3. An amazing or marvellous thing; a wonder. [from 17th c.]
  4. A wonderful example of something. [from 17th c.]
  5. An extremely talented person, especially a child. [from 17th c.]


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