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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 of ingenious
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. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for ingeniousness
Historical Examples
  • Leopardi has scarcely done more than paraphrase these elementary ideas, but this he has done with abundance and ingeniousness.

    Philosophic Nights In Paris Remy De Gourmont
  • I declare, the profoundness, the ingeniousness, and the boldness of your successful answers filled me with amazement!

    Solaris Farm Milan C. Edson
  • The coffee was excellent, thanks to the ingeniousness of the machine that made it.

    I Walked in Arden Jack Crawford
  • Peter Comester in his Historia Scholastica (twelfth century) granted the ingeniousness of the author.

    The Rise of the Mediaeval Church Alexander Clarence Flick
  • We in America, especially, place altogether too high a value on our ingeniousness, our resourcefulness.

    Analyzing Character Katherine M. H. Blackford and Arthur Newcomb
British Dictionary definitions for ingeniousness

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 ingeniousness

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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