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

  • n. An inherent ability, as for learning; a talent. See Synonyms at ability.
  • n. Quickness in learning and understanding; intelligence.
  • n. The condition or quality of being suitable; appropriateness.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. Natural ability to acquire knowledge or skill.
  • n. The condition of being suitable.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. A natural or acquired disposition or capacity for a particular purpose, or tendency to a particular action or effect.
  • n. A general fitness or suitableness; adaptation.
  • n. Readiness in learning; docility; aptness.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. The state or quality of being apt or fit for or suited to a purpose, place, or situation; fitness; suitableness.
  • n. A natural tendency or acquired inclination; both capacity and propensity for a certain course: as, oil has an aptitude to burn; men acquire an aptitude to particular vices.
  • n. Readiness in learning; teachableness; quickness to understand and acquire; intelligence; talent.
  • n. Synonyms Faculty, Capacity, etc. See genius.

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

  • n. inherent ability


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

Middle English, tendency, from Late Latin aptitūdō, aptitude, from Latin aptus, apt; see apt.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Medieval Latin aptitudo, from Latin aptus ("apt, fit"); see apt. Compare attitude, which is a doublet of aptitude.


  • By then, the word aptitude, implying that students were being tested for natural fitness or inborn talent, would no longer do.

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  • I agree that any genetic differences in aptitude probably predated selective breeding by slave owners.

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  • Now, however, "fresh research adds to the debate about gender difference in aptitude for mathematics, including efforts to explain the relative scarcity of women among professors of science, math, and engineering."

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  • A study by the RAND Corporation, commissioned by the Pentagon and published in 2005, evaluated several factors that affect military performance — experience, training, aptitude, and so forth — and found that aptitude is key.

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  • And in one of the first long-term aptitude studies, researchers found that preemies aren't necessarily destined for a lifetime of learning problems.

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  • Making the admiration sexual rather than based on aptitude is one way to avoid recognizing the lack of said quality in himself.

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  • Despite the committees 'rhetorical emphasis on scientists, the real idea was to defer a whole class of people -- those high in aptitude, no matter what their field.

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  • On the other hand, MacMillan never went on to the Olympics because natural aptitude is not sufficient in itself.

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  • It was interesting and Rilla discovered a certain aptitude in herself for it that surprised her.

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  • In fact, Peter’s scientific aptitude is pretty much gone in this film, aside from him talking to a professor who has examined a piece of the symbiotic black suit.

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  • "They will judge you and your aptitude for success by your written messages."- The Readers Handbook, Catherine Stephens Ph.D, pg.385

    December 1, 2010

  • I seem to have been born with an aptitude for a way of life that was doomed, although I did not understand that at the time. Wendell Berry "A Native Hill"

    July 19, 2008