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ingenious

[ in-jeen-yuhs ]
/ ɪnˈdʒin yəs /
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adjective

characterized by cleverness or originality of invention or construction: an ingenious machine.
cleverly inventive or resourceful: an ingenious press agent.
Obsolete.
  1. intelligent; showing genius.
  2. ingenuous.

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Origin of ingenious

First recorded in 1375–1425; late Middle English, from Old French ingenïos, from Latin ingeniōsus, engignos “clever, talented, gifted,” equivalent to ingeni(um) “natural disposition, temperament, mood; natural ability, cleverness” + -ōsus adjective suffix; see origin at in-2, genitor; see also -ium, -ous

words often confused with ingenious

Ingenious and ingenuous arose from the same Latin root meaning “to beget, give birth” and once had the same meaning. They are now distinct from each other and are not synonyms. Ingenious means “characterized by cleverness” or “cleverly inventive,” as in contriving new explanations or methods: an ingenious device; ingenious designers. Both ingenious and ingenuous originally meant “of honorable or free birth, noble in character; open, frank, candid,” senses that exist in Latin. Since the second half of the 17th century, ingenuous has acquired the additional sense “naively open, innocently frank”: an ingenuous and sincere statement; a thug with the ingenuous eyes of a choirboy.

OTHER WORDS FROM ingenious

WORDS THAT MAY BE CONFUSED WITH ingenious

ingenious , ingenuous (see confusables note at the current entry)
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2021

Example sentences from the Web for ingenious

British Dictionary definitions for ingenious

ingenious
/ (ɪnˈdʒiːnjəs, -nɪəs) /

adjective

possessing or done with ingenuity; skilful or clever
obsolete having great intelligence; displaying genius

Derived forms of ingenious

ingeniously, adverbingeniousness, noun

Word Origin for ingenious

C15: from Latin ingeniōsus, from ingenium natural ability; see engine
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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