Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • adjective Having great inventive skill and imagination.
  • adjective Marked by or exhibiting originality or inventiveness.
  • adjective Obsolete Having genius; brilliant.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • Possessing inventive genius or faculty; apt in inventing, contriving, or constructing; skilful in the use of things or words: as, an ingenious mechanic; an ingenious author.
  • Mentally bright or clever; witty; conversable.
  • Marked or characterized by inventive genius; displaying or proceeding from skill in contrivance or construction; witty or clever in form or spirit; well conceived; apt: as, an ingenious machine; an ingenious process or performance; ingenious criticism.
  • Manifesting or requiring mental brightness or cleverness; intellectual; improving.
  • Ingenuous.
  • Synonyms Inventive, bright, acute, constructive. See genius.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • adjective Possessed of genius, or the faculty of invention; skillful or promp to invent; having an aptitude to contrive, or to form new combinations.
  • adjective Proceeding from, pertaining to, or characterized by, genius or ingenuity; of curious design, structure, or mechanism
  • adjective Witty; shrewd; adroit; keen; sagacious.
  • adjective obsolete Mental; intellectual.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • adjective Displaying genius or brilliance; tending to invent.
  • adjective Characterized by genius; cleverly done or contrived.
  • adjective Witty; original; shrewd; adroit; keen; sagacious.

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

  • adjective showing inventiveness and skill

Etymologies

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

[Middle English, from Old French ingenios, from Latin ingeniōsus, from ingenium, inborn talent; see genə- in Indo-European roots.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Latin ingeniosus ("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. Compare French ingénieux; see also engine.

Examples

  • With these the English word ingenious has an obvious connection, especially in its earlier use as applied to men of letters.

    Aesthetic as Science of Expression and General Linguistic

  • It refers to an ingenious method of subterranean irrigation that exploits gravity to create arable land far beyond water sources, typically in desert environments.

    The English Is Coming!

  • It refers to an ingenious method of subterranean irrigation that exploits gravity to create arable land far beyond water sources, typically in desert environments.

    The English Is Coming!

  • But what makes the ad so ingenious is the fact that is a mix of message, brand and "location."

    Archive 2008-05-01

  • Also the connection between belief and tool-making, while ingenious, is also purely speculative.

    A second opinion ...

  • I am just writing on how I think your plan on protecting marriage between a man and a woman in ingenious!

    06/13/2005

  • "What you call an ingenious mathematical solution doesn't seem to be reflected in the patent," Voss told Samsung's lawyers.

    SFGate: Don Asmussen: Bad Reporter

  • The life writer abovementioned has preserved a fragment of Mr. Butler's, given by one whom he calls the ingenious Mr. Aubrey, who assured him he had it from the poet himself; it is indeed admirable, and the satire sufficiently pungent against the priests.

    The Lives of the Poets of Great Britain and Ireland

  • The life writer abovementioned has preserved a fragment of Mr. Butler's, given by one whom he calls the ingenious Mr. Aubrey, who assured him he had it from the poet himself; it is indeed admirable, and the satire sufficiently pungent against the priests.

    The Lives of the Poets of Great Britain and Ireland (1753) Volume II

  • He began in 1630 with a prose tract, the Hero, laboured in short ingenious sentences, which went through six editions.

    The Spectator, Volume 2.

Comments

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  • Marked by independence and creativity in thought or action

    November 20, 2007

  • Very mature word

    February 1, 2012