- intelligent; showing genius.
OTHER WORDS FOR ingenious
OPPOSITES FOR ingenious
Origin of ingenious
words often confused with ingenious
OTHER WORDS FROM ingenious
WORDS THAT MAY BE CONFUSED WITH ingeniousingenious , ingenuous (see confusables note at the current entry)
Words nearby ingenious
INGENIOUS VS. INGENUOUS
What’s the difference between ingenious and ingenuous?
Ingenious means clever or cleverly inventive or resourceful. Ingenuous means sincere or, perhaps more commonly, naive or innocent.
Careful: ingenious sounds like genius (the two are often used in the same contexts and even come from the same root) but it’s not spelled ingenius.
Ingenious is most often used in the context of ideas, inventions, and solutions considered clever for their inventiveness and resourcefulness. The related noun ingenuity refers to the quality of being ingenious—cleverness or inventiveness.
Ingenuous, on the other hand, is most commonly used to describe people—typically people considered naive or overly trusting, especially due to a lack of real-world experience. The related noun ingénue refers to a young, inexperienced person.
The adjective disingenuous is more commonly used than ingenuous and means insincere or falsely ingenuous—someone who’s described as disingenuous might be faking naivete.
Once upon a time, ingenious was used to mean ingenuous, but this is no longer the case.
To remember the difference, remember that ingenious sounds like genius and is used in similar contexts—an ingenious idea might also be described as a genius idea. Just don’t forget the -ous ending in ingenious.
The middle of ingenuous sounds like the beginning of genuine, and an ingenuous person is usually a genuine one—nothing about them is insincere or intended to hide who they really are.
Here’s an example of ingenious and ingenuous used correctly in a sentence.
Example: The ingenuous inventor signed away the rights to his ingenious new creation without realizing it.
Want to learn more? Read the full breakdown of the difference between ingenious and ingenuous.
Quiz yourself on ingenious vs. ingenuous!
Should ingenious or ingenuous be used in the following sentence?
The design is truly _____—I’ve never seen anything like it.
How to use ingenious in a sentence
Then I sort of forgot about them, until roughly 2015, when a diabolically ingenious album called FFS—a collaboration between the Scottish band Franz Ferdinand and, once again, Sparks—caught my attention.The Sparks Brothers, a Sundance Delight, Tells the Grand Story of This Enduringly Enigmatic Art-Pop Duo|Stephanie Zacharek|February 3, 2021|Time
An ingenious little invention, this kitchen appliance can make a huge difference when it comes to quick snacks, full meals, and delicious leftovers.The best microwaves: This way for buttery popcorn and tempting leftovers|PopSci Commerce Team|January 22, 2021|Popular-Science
However, the game’s art direction and ingenious puzzles give “Call of the Sea” undeniable momentum.‘Call of the Sea’: Strictly for hardcore puzzlers|Christopher Byrd|January 15, 2021|Washington Post
Once on the ground an extremely ingenious system allows the flight-pod “to open up like a flower and release the dog in less than 10 seconds after landing.”This new harness lets military dogs parachute safely and with style|Christina Mackenzie|January 4, 2021|Popular-Science
Pointy uses an ingenious and simple method to get local store inventory online, which can then be presented in organic search results or paid search ads.Even as more people shop online, searches for ‘available near me’ up over 100% vs. last year|Greg Sterling|December 10, 2020|Search Engine Land
Projects like this offer smart, sometimes ingenious ideas about how we can and should live in buildings and cities.Why Architects Dream Big—and Crazy|Nate Berg|August 23, 2014|DAILY BEAST
In ways large and small, devious and immature, ingenious and inspiring, she struggled to escape.The Day the Fairytale Died|Marilyn Johnson|July 12, 2014|DAILY BEAST
Mimicry is an ingenious survival technique, albeit one that is of little use against bulldozers and chainsaws.Exploring the Amazon, While We Still Can|Darrell Hartman|May 15, 2014|DAILY BEAST
We came up with an ingenious plan that would light a fire in the belly of the digital revolution.Sandi Thom On How To Make It As A Female Rock Star|Sandi Thom|April 9, 2014|DAILY BEAST
They have talent and Lennon/McCartney are the most inventive, wide-ranging and melodically ingenious writers pop has produced.What It Was Like to Watch the Beatles Become the Beatles—Nik Cohn Remembers|Nik Cohn|February 9, 2014|DAILY BEAST
Just try it once, and you'll see how ingenious it is—only one must be careful not to throw out the elbow in turning out the wrist.Music-Study in Germany|Amy Fay
He uses the red pipe-stone and other materials in the production of his pipes, which are ingenious specimens of sculpture.
Metal buttons or pistons located on the toe piece of the pedal-board were introduced by the ingenious Casavant of Canada.
From these ingenious "conceits" we turn to a few thoughts on the present condition and history of the plant.
The pipes are alternated and in this ingenious way sympathy is largely avoided.