[jeen-yuh s]
See more synonyms for genius on
noun, plural gen·ius·es for 2, 3, 8, gen·i·i [jee-nee-ahy] /ˈdʒi niˌaɪ/ for 6, 7, 9, 10.
  1. an exceptional natural capacity of intellect, especially as shown in creative and original work in science, art, music, etc.: the genius of Mozart.
  2. a person having such capacity.
  3. a person having an extraordinarily high intelligence rating on a psychological test, as an IQ above 140.
  4. natural ability or capacity; strong inclination: a special genius for leadership.
  5. distinctive character or spirit, as of a nation, period, or language.
  6. the guardian spirit of a place, institution, etc.
  7. either of two mutually opposed spirits, one good and the other evil, supposed to attend a person throughout life.
  8. 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.
  9. Islamic Mythology. jinn; genie.
  10. genie(def 3).

Origin of genius

1350–1400; Middle English < Latin: tutelary deity or genius of a person; cf. genus
Can be confusedgenius genus

genius loci

[gen-i-oo s loh-kee; English jee-nee-uh s loh-sahy, -kahy]
noun Latin.
  1. the guardian spirit of a place.
  2. the distinctive character or atmosphere of a place with reference to the impression that it makes on the mind. Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for genius

Contemporary Examples of genius

Historical Examples of genius

  • We do not know which genius first discovered the use of pottery but he deserves a statue.

    Ancient Man

    Hendrik Willem van Loon

  • Much, nay most, of this was undoubtedly owing to the genius of the songstress.

  • I do not say she reasoned thus, but her genius reasoned thus for her.

    Weighed and Wanting

    George MacDonald

  • I am willing to confess that my poor black Dirk was a bit of a genius.

  • "Genius is certainly modest," he said, with a laugh that was not nice to hear.

British Dictionary definitions for genius


noun plural -uses or for senses 5, 6 genii (ˈdʒiːnɪˌaɪ)
  1. a person with exceptional ability, esp of a highly original kind
  2. such ability or capacityMozart's musical genius
  3. the distinctive spirit or creative nature of a nation, era, language, etc
  4. a person considered as exerting great influence of a certain sortan evil genius
  5. 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
  6. Arabian myth (usually plural) a demon; jinn

Word Origin for genius

C16: from Latin, from gignere to beget

genius loci

  1. the guardian spirit of a place
  2. the special atmosphere of a particular place

Word Origin for genius loci

genius of the place
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 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