from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. A person with exceptional talents or powers: a math prodigy.
  • n. An act or event so extraordinary or rare as to inspire wonder. See Synonyms at wonder.
  • n. A portentous sign or event; an omen.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. Something from which omens are drawn.
  • n. An amazing or marvellous thing.
  • n. A wonderful example of something.
  • n. An extremely talented person, especially a child.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. Something extraordinary, or out of the usual course of nature, from which omens are drawn; a portent.
  • n. Anything so extraordinary as to excite wonder or astonishment; a marvel.
  • n. A production out of ordinary course of nature; an abnormal development; a monster.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. Something extraordinary from which omens are drawn; a portent.
  • n. A person or thing so extraordinary as to excite great wonder or astonishment.
  • n. A monster; an animal or other production out of the ordinary course of nature.
  • n. Synonyms Sign, wonder, miracle.
  • n. 2. Marvel.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. a sign of something about to happen
  • n. an unusually gifted or intelligent (young) person; someone whose talents excite wonder and admiration
  • n. an impressive or wonderful example of a particular quality


Middle English prodige, portent, from Latin prōdigium.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Middle English prodige ("portent"), from Latin prōdigium ("omen, portent, prophetic sign") (Wiktionary)


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  • Other sources translate the Latin is also "prophetic sign", which makes a bit more sense. A prodigy is a sign of future greatness, or a twisted firestarter.

    July 8, 2007

  • Interesting etymology: from Latin "omen"

    July 8, 2007