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ingenious

[in-jeen-yuh s] /ɪnˈdʒin yəs/
adjective
1.
characterized by cleverness or originality of invention or construction:
an ingenious machine.
2.
cleverly inventive or resourceful:
an ingenious press agent.
3.
Obsolete.
  1. intelligent; showing genius.
  2. ingenuous.
Origin
late Middle English
1375-1425
1375-1425; late Middle English < Latin ingeniōsus, equivalent to ingeni(um) natural disposition, cleverness (in- in-2 + gen- (base of gignere to bring into being; cf. genitor) + -ium -ium) + -ōsus -ous
Related forms
ingeniously, adverb
ingeniousness, noun
half-ingenious, adjective
half-ingeniously, adverb
half-ingeniousness, noun
overingenious, adjective
overingeniously, adverb
overingeniousness, noun
superingenious, adjective
superingeniously, adverb
superingeniousness, noun
Can be confused
ingenious, ingenuous (see usage note at the current entry)
Synonyms
2. bright, gifted, able, resourceful; adroit.
Antonyms
2. unskillful.
Usage note
Ingenious and ingenuous are now distinct from each other and are not synonyms. Ingenious means “characterized by cleverness” or “cleverly inventive,” as in contriving new explanations or methods: an ingenious device; ingenious designers. Ingenuous means “candid” or “innocent”: an ingenuous and sincere statement; a thug with the ingenuous eyes of a choirboy.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Examples from the web for ingenious
  • The success of the mini was down to its ingenious technological design.
  • Some of their survival strategies are nothing short of ingenious.
  • We have been trying for years to fix problems using our ingenious ideas.
  • Nature has perfected an ingenious way of turning light into chemical energy and storing it up.
  • Each is unique, and many of the time-travel tales contain ingenious twists.
  • Even for creatures as ingenious as ants, it's a device to marvel at.
  • To keep it from pushing the supporting walls out, the architects and builders devised some ingenious solutions.
  • The piece, silly but ingenious, drew gasps and laughter in equal measure.
  • Because any kind of amplified sound is forbidden, bullhorns included, the meetings are conducted in an ingenious way.
  • Something ingenious and luxuriant-a certain sparkle and frivolity-has gone out of the culture and out of them.
British Dictionary definitions for ingenious

ingenious

/ɪnˈdʒiːnjəs; -nɪəs/
adjective
1.
possessing or done with ingenuity; skilful or clever
2.
(obsolete) having great intelligence; displaying genius
Derived Forms
ingeniously, adverb
ingeniousness, noun
Word Origin
C15: from Latin ingeniōsus, from ingenium natural ability; see engine
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 ingenious
adj.

early 15c., "intellectual, talented," from Middle French ingénieux "clever, ingenious" (Old French engeignos), from Latin ingeniosus "of good capacity, full of intellect; clever, gifted with genius," from ingenium "innate qualities, ability," literally "that which is inborn," from in- "in" (see in- (2)) + gignere, from PIE *gen- "produce" (see genus). Sense of "skillful, clever at contrivance" first recorded 1540s. In a sense of "crafty, clever, skillful" Middle English had enginous (mid-14c.), from Old French engeignos. Related: Ingeniously; ingeniousness.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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