|—n , pl -gies|
|1.||a person, esp a child, of unusual or marvellous talents|
|2.||anything that is a cause of wonder and amazement|
|3.||something monstrous or abnormal|
|4.||an archaic word for omen|
|[C16: from Latin prōdigium an unnatural happening, from |
a child who, by about age 10, performs at the level of a highly trained adult in a particular sphere of activity or knowledge. In this sense, neither high intelligence nor eccentric skills by themselves qualify a child as a prodigy. Rather, it is the capacity to perform in a recognized area of endeavour in such a way as to receive broad acclaim that defines the prodigy. Therefore, individuals who are chess prodigies or "lightning calculators" (those who have a remarkable memory for figures) but who are otherwise mentally or developmentally disabled (such as "idiot savants") are not prodigies.
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