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genius

[jeen-yuh s] /ˈdʒin yəs/
noun, plural geniuses for 2, 3, 8, genii
[jee-nee-ahy] /ˈdʒi niˌaɪ/ (Show IPA),
for 6, 7, 9, 10.
1.
an exceptional natural capacity of intellect, especially as shown in creative and original work in science, art, music, etc.:
the genius of Mozart.
2.
a person having such capacity.
3.
a person having an extraordinarily high intelligence rating on a psychological test, as an IQ above 140.
4.
natural ability or capacity; strong inclination:
a special genius for leadership.
5.
distinctive character or spirit, as of a nation, period, or language.
6.
the guardian spirit of a place, institution, etc.
7.
either of two mutually opposed spirits, one good and the other evil, supposed to attend a person throughout life.
8.
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.
9.
Islamic Mythology, jinn; genie.
10.
genie (def 3).
Origin
1350-1400
1350-1400; Middle English < Latin: tutelary deity or genius of a person; cf. genus
Can be confused
genius, genus.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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British Dictionary definitions for genius'

genius

/ˈdʒiːnɪəs; -njəs/
noun (pl) -uses, (for senses 5, 6) genii (ˈdʒiːnɪˌaɪ)
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)
  1. the guiding spirit who attends a person from birth to death
  2. the guardian spirit of a place, group of people, or institution
6.
(Arabian myth) (usually pl) a demon; jinn
Word Origin
C16: from Latin, from gignere to beget
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 genius'

genius

n.

late 14c., "tutelary god (classical or pagan)," from Latin genius "guardian deity or spirit which watches over each person from birth; spirit, incarnation, wit, talent;" also "prophetic skill," originally "generative power," from root of gignere "beget, produce" (see kin), from PIE root *gen- "produce." Sense of "characteristic disposition" is from 1580s. Meaning "person of natural intelligence or talent" and that of "natural ability" are first recorded 1640s.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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