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[jee-nee-ahy] /ˈdʒi niˌaɪ/
a plural of genius.


[jeen-yuh s] /ˈdʒin yəs/
noun, plural geniuses for 2, 3, 8, genii
[jee-nee-ahy] /ˈdʒi niˌaɪ/ (Show IPA),
for 6, 7, 9, 10.
an exceptional natural capacity of intellect, especially as shown in creative and original work in science, art, music, etc.:
the genius of Mozart.
a person having such capacity.
a person having an extraordinarily high intelligence rating on a psychological test, as an IQ above 140.
natural ability or capacity; strong inclination:
a special genius for leadership.
distinctive character or spirit, as of a nation, period, or language.
the guardian spirit of a place, institution, etc.
either of two mutually opposed spirits, one good and the other evil, supposed to attend a person throughout life.
a person who strongly influences for good or ill the character, conduct, or destiny of a person, place, or thing:
Rasputin, the evil genius of Russian politics.
Islamic Mythology. jinn; genie.
genie (def 3).
Origin of genius
1350-1400; Middle English < Latin: tutelary deity or genius of a person; cf. genus
Can be confused
genius, genus. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for genii
Contemporary Examples
  • genii protect individuals and places: springs, hills, cities, and army barracks all had a genius loci, a genius of the place.

    What is a Genius? Nick Romeo November 9, 2013
  • But the Romans simply transferred many of the functions of genii to angels.

    What is a Genius? Nick Romeo November 9, 2013
Historical Examples
  • The genii of the East have woven this banner from the rays of benignant stars.

    Leila, Complete Edward Bulwer-Lytton
  • genii know all that men know, and many other things besides, chevalier.

    The Conspirators Alexandre Dumas (Pere)
  • They thought the genii was King Hagag and they halted before him.

  • The genii on the throne and Hagag looked long at each other.

  • The genii of the Arabian Nights may have in their magic their lure and fascination for us.

    Creative Unity Rabindranath Tagore
  • It reminded her of the tales of the genii, more than of the actualities of every day life.

    Helen and Arthur Caroline Lee Hentz
  • Was the dull brass lamp burning on the table, the gift of the genii?

    Helen and Arthur Caroline Lee Hentz
  • Though our foe cannot be slain, he can, like the genii of Eastern story, be baffled.

    Battles with the Sea R.M. Ballantyne
British Dictionary definitions for genii


the plural of genius (sense 5), genius (sense 6)


/ˈdʒiːnɪəs; -njəs/
noun (pl) -uses, (for senses 5, 6) genii (ˈdʒiːnɪˌaɪ)
a person with exceptional ability, esp of a highly original kind
such ability or capacity: Mozart's musical genius
the distinctive spirit or creative nature of a nation, era, language, etc
a person considered as exerting great influence of a certain sort: an evil genius
(Roman myth)
  1. the guiding spirit who attends a person from birth to death
  2. the guardian spirit of a place, group of people, or institution
(Arabian myth) (usually pl) a demon; jinn
Word Origin
C16: from Latin, from gignere to beget
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for genii

Latinate plural of genius.



late 14c., "tutelary god (classical or pagan)," from Latin genius "guardian deity or spirit which watches over each person from birth; spirit, incarnation, wit, talent;" also "prophetic skill," originally "generative power," from root of gignere "beget, produce" (see kin), from PIE root *gen- "produce." Sense of "characteristic disposition" is from 1580s. Meaning "person of natural intelligence or talent" and that of "natural ability" are first recorded 1640s.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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