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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
  • Our aim is more to discover writing talent in a science student or scientist than a scientific aptitude in a budding journalist.
  • Both require far more than just math aptitude.
  • His scientific aptitude was not immediately apparent.
  • While discovering your interests is a good first step, you will have to appraise your aptitudes, too.
  • Take aptitude and physical exams to qualify for the training you've chosen.
  • In recruitment, aptitude and attitude supercede experience.
  • It was there that he discovered his aptitude for technology.
  • Make it absolutely clear that it isn't a matter of the student's aptitude.
  • Candidate must have strong technical aptitude and a creative drive to solve challenging technical issues.
  • This depends entirely on aptitude, interests, and goals.
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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