noun, plural in·ge·nu·i·ties for 3.
FOR LEXICAL ALIMENTATION, TAKE THIS WORD OF THE DAY QUIZ!
Origin of ingenuity
historical usage of ingenuity
Ingenuity formerly had the meaning “simplicity, candor, frankness,” which corresponds to the current meaning of ingenuous, an adjective which comes directly from Latin ingenuus. Ingenuity with the sense “cleverness, inventiveness, skill” is the result of the mutual confusion— conflation is perhaps the better word—of the adjective ingenious with ingenuous, evidence of which can be found in literature of the 17th and 18th centuries. Ingenious comes from the Latin adjective ingeniōsus “intelligent, talented, clever, gifted,” derived from the noun ingenium “natural disposition, (good) mental abilities, talents, or powers (that is, personal temperament and intellectual qualities).” Latin ingenium comes from the same elements, in, in- and gignere, as ingenuitās and ingenuus. From such similar roots, a confusion was born.
OTHER WORDS FROM ingenuityhy·per·in·ge·nu·i·ty, nounsu·per·in·ge·nu·i·ty, noun, plural su·per·in·ge·nu·i·ties.
Words nearby ingenuity
Example sentences from the Web for ingenuity
The public cheered Holmes when she broke away from Cruise with a similar element of challenge and ingenuity.How Can Katie Holmes Escape Tom Cruise—and ‘Dawson’s Creek’?|Tim Teeman|October 30, 2014|DAILY BEAST
Seven Elements That Changed The World: An Adventure of Ingenuity and Discovery is published by Pegasus Books/W.
The legal gymnastics necessary to create such impenetrable networks is a testament to the ingenuity of well-paid attorneys.Consultants Are Cashing In On Campaigns’ Dark New Economics|Robert Maguire|February 22, 2014|DAILY BEAST
Again, there was a big step forward in ingenuity and, again, there was a big step back in guts.What It Was Like to Watch the Beatles Become the Beatles—Nik Cohn Remembers|Nik Cohn|February 9, 2014|DAILY BEAST
We hide behind science, in other words, and then pat ourselves on the back for our ingenuity.What Happens to the Death Penalty When Lethal Injection Isn’t Quick and Painless?|Andrew Cohen|January 21, 2014|DAILY BEAST
Moreover, Mr. Leary had been the recipient of unlimited praise upon the ingenuity and the uniqueness expressed in his costume.The Life of the Party|Irvin Shrewsbury Cobb
One mode of persuasion their ingenuity has suggested, which it may, perhaps, be less easy to resist.The Works of Samuel Johnson, Vol. 6|Samuel Johnson
Most of these changes are certainly highly poetical, and, while we admire their ingenuity, we do not impugn their correctness.The Bon Gaultier Ballads|William Edmonstoune Aytoun
Gayety, wit, and ingenuity are their ruling character: they aspire not to the sublime; still less to the pathetic.
There is, then, a certain paradox in the life of wisdom which no ingenuity can avoid.The Expositor's Bible: The Book of Proverbs|R. F. Horton