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[ap-ti-tood, -tyood] /ˈæp tɪˌtud, -ˌtyud/
capability; ability; innate or acquired capacity for something; talent:
She has a special aptitude for mathematics.
readiness or quickness in learning; intelligence:
He was placed in honors classes because of his general aptitude.
the state or quality of being apt; special fitness.
Origin of aptitude
late Middle English
1400-50; late Middle English (< Middle French) < Late Latin aptitūdō. See apt, -i-, -tude
Related forms
aptitudinal, adjective
aptitudinally, adverb
preaptitude, noun
1. predilection, proclivity, bent, gift, faculty. 2. acumen. 3. appropriateness. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for aptitude
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • She had no aptitude for aimlessness, and moreover thought it vulgar.

    The Tragic Muse Henry James
  • He had seized a sword from a dying hand and was wielding it with aptitude and power.

    The Martian Cabal Roman Frederick Starzl
  • And this aptitude is abundantly encouraged by history; for here was once the favored home of a tribe of Indians.

    Peter Parley's Own Story Samuel G. Goodrich
  • She had the aptitude for the work and the means for thorough study.

    Girls and Women Harriet E. Paine (AKA E. Chester}
  • He does hug himself, and whether he does it consciously or unconsciously depends on his aptitude for clear self-criticism.

British Dictionary definitions for aptitude


inherent or acquired ability
ease in learning or understanding; intelligence
the condition or quality of being apt
Word Origin
C15: via Old French from Late Latin aptitūdō, from Latin aptusapt
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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Word Origin and History for aptitude

early 15c., "tendency, likelihood," from Middle French aptitude (14c.) or directly from Late Latin aptitudo (genitive aptitudinis) "fitness," noun of quality from Latin aptus "joined, fitted" (see apt). Meaning "natural capacity to learn" is 1540s; that of "quality of being fit (for a purpose or position)" is from 1640s.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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