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[in-juh-noo-i-tee, -nyoo-] /ˌɪn dʒəˈnu ɪ ti, -ˈnyu-/
noun, plural ingenuities for 3.
the quality of being cleverly inventive or resourceful; inventiveness:
a designer of great ingenuity.
cleverness or skillfulness of conception or design:
a device of great ingenuity.
an ingenious contrivance or device.
Obsolete, ingenuousness.
Origin of ingenuity
1590-1600; < Latin ingenuitās innate virtue, etc. (see ingenuous, -ity); current senses by association with ingenious
Related forms
hyperingenuity, noun
superingenuity, noun, plural superingenuities. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for ingenuity
  • The moral reflections in these letters are elevated, and are developed with characteristic ingenuity.
  • The different degrees of hardship endured, and of ingenuity exercised, must likewise be taken into account.
  • What made the spectacle work was the ingenuity and the attention to detail with which it was rendered.
  • In fact, he had shown that lightning was a form of electricity, and that ingenuity could hold its own against book learning.
  • You'll also be able to fully leverage your creativity and ingenuity.
  • Fear has developed too much and is the enemy of ingenuity.
  • Leadership in these realms requires vision and imagination that transcends mere engineering ingenuity.
  • We should not miss an opportunity to capitalize on the ingenuity of individuals worldwide to provide local solutions.
  • Future generations will marvel at this example of human ingenuity.
  • Yet no such justification has come to my knowledge in this case, which seems to have exceeded the bounds of police ingenuity.
British Dictionary definitions for ingenuity


noun (pl) -ties
inventive talent; cleverness
an ingenious device, act, etc
(archaic) frankness; candour
Word Origin
C16: from Latin ingenuitās a freeborn condition, outlook consistent with such a condition, from ingenuus native, freeborn (see ingenuous); meaning influenced by ingenious
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 ingenuity

1590s, "honor, nobility," from Middle French ingénuité and directly from Latin ingenuitatem (nominative ingenuitas) "condition of a free-born man," figuratively "generosity, noble-mindedness," from ingenuus (see ingenuous). Etymologically, this word belongs to ingenuous, but in 17c. ingenious and ingenuous so often were confused (even by Shakespeare) that ingenuity has acquired the meaning "capacity for invention or construction" (first attested 1640s).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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