[ap-ti-tood, -tyood]


capability; ability; innate or acquired capacity for something; talent: She has a special aptitude for mathematics.
readiness or quickness in learning; intelligence: He was placed in honors classes because of his general aptitude.
the state or quality of being apt; special fitness.

Origin of aptitude

1400–50; late Middle English (< Middle French) < Late Latin aptitūdō. See apt, -i-, -tude
Related formsap·ti·tu·di·nal, adjectiveap·ti·tu·di·nal·ly, adverbpre·ap·ti·tude, noun

Synonyms for aptitude

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for aptitude

Contemporary Examples of aptitude

Historical Examples of aptitude

  • He appeared to have no aptitude at all for the business of soap making.

    The Age of Invention

    Holland Thompson

  • He had seized a sword from a dying hand and was wielding it with aptitude and power.

    The Martian Cabal

    Roman Frederick Starzl

  • When Piloti became old enough he was taught the piano, for which he had aptitude.


    James Huneker

  • It substitutes an aptitude for what ought to be pure acquirement.

  • It is doubtful if the Phoenicians possessed any aptitude for the arts.

British Dictionary definitions for aptitude



inherent or acquired ability
ease in learning or understanding; intelligence
the condition or quality of being apt

Word Origin for aptitude

C15: via Old French from Late Latin aptitūdō, from Latin aptus apt
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

Word Origin and History for aptitude

early 15c., "tendency, likelihood," from Middle French aptitude (14c.) or directly from Late Latin aptitudo (genitive aptitudinis) "fitness," noun of quality from Latin aptus "joined, fitted" (see apt). Meaning "natural capacity to learn" is 1540s; that of "quality of being fit (for a purpose or position)" is from 1640s.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper