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noun, plural geniuses for 2, 3, 8, genii [jee-nee-ahy] , for 6, 7, 9, 10.
an exceptional natural capacity of intellect, especially as shown in creative and original work in science, art, music, etc.: the genius of Mozart. intelligence, ingenuity, wit; brains.
a person having such capacity.
a person having an extraordinarily high intelligence rating on a psychological test, as an IQ above 140. mental giant, master, expert; whiz, brain, brainiac. idiot, imbecile, half-wit, dope, moron; fool, simpleton, dunce, dullard, dolt; numskull, blockhead, nitwit, ninny.
natural ability or capacity; strong inclination: a special genius for leadership. gift, talent, aptitude, faculty, endowment, predilection; penchant, knack, bent, flair, wizardry.
distinctive character or spirit, as of a nation, period, or language.
the guardian spirit of a place, institution, etc.
either of two mutually opposed spirits, one good and the other evil, supposed to attend a person throughout life.
a person who strongly influences for good or ill the character, conduct, or destiny of a person, place, or thing: Rasputin, the evil genius of Russian politics.
Islamic Mythology, jinn; genie.
genie ( def 3 ).

1350–1400; Middle English < Latin: tutelary deity or genius of a person; cf. genus

genius, genus.
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Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
genii (ˈdʒiːnɪˌaɪ)
genius the plural of genius

genius (ˈdʒiːnɪəs, -njəs)
n , pl (for senses 5, 6) -uses, genii
1.  a person with exceptional ability, esp of a highly original kind
2.  such ability or capacity: Mozart's musical genius
3.  the distinctive spirit or creative nature of a nation, era, language, etc
4.  a person considered as exerting great influence of a certain sort: an evil genius
5.  Roman myth
 a.  the guiding spirit who attends a person from birth to death
 b.  the guardian spirit of a place, group of people, or institution
6.  (usually plural) Arabian myth a demon; jinn
[C16: from Latin, from gignere to beget]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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Word Origin & History

late 14c., from L. genius "guardian deity or spirit which watches over each person from birth; spirit, incarnation, wit, talent," from root of gignere "beget, produce" (see kin), from PIE base *gen- "produce." Meaning "person of natural intelligence or talent" first recorded 1640s.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Example sentences
One wonders what future lies in store for the financial genii at these universities that were snared.
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