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[prod-i-jee] /ˈprɒd ɪ dʒi/
noun, plural prodigies.
a person, especially a child or young person, having extraordinary talent or ability:
a musical prodigy.
a marvelous example (usually followed by of).
something wonderful or marvelous; a wonder.
something abnormal or monstrous.
Archaic. something extraordinary regarded as of prophetic significance.
late Middle English
1425-75; late Middle English prodige < Latin prōdigium prophetic sign
Can be confused
prodigy, protégé. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for prodigies
  • We often hear of prodigies who do with only four hours a night and accomplish wonders with that extra measure of wakefulness.
  • E ven in this era of business prodigies, his youthful success is virtually unrivaled.
  • Even in this era of business prodigies, his youthful success is virtually unrivaled.
  • There was a time when it was thought that tool use was the singular ability of humans and their captive primate prodigies.
  • It can educate prodigies and late bloomers, scions and pariahs.
  • Unlike music or math, where precocious displays of talent are not uncommon, photography tends not to have prodigies.
  • Countries with little by way of chess tradition and few available coaches can now produce prodigies.
  • They are freaks among families in the way prodigies are freaks among individuals.
  • Some people don't go for the idea of prodigies' staying up nights to play concerti with symphony orchestras.
  • Monsters and prodigies are the proper arguments to support monstrous and absurd doctrines.
British Dictionary definitions for prodigies


noun (pl) -gies
a person, esp a child, of unusual or marvellous talents
anything that is a cause of wonder and amazement
something monstrous or abnormal
an archaic word for omen
Word Origin
C16: from Latin prōdigium an unnatural happening, from pro-1 + -igium, probably from āio I say
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 prodigies



late 15c., "sign, portent, something extraordinary from which omens are drawn," from Latin prodigium "prophetic sign, omen, portent, prodigy," from pro- "forth" (see pro-) + -igium, a suffix or word of unknown origin, perhaps from *agi-, root of aio "I say" (see adage). Meaning "child with exceptional abilities" first recorded 1650s.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Encyclopedia Article for prodigies


a child who, by about age 10, performs at the level of a highly trained adult in a particular sphere of activity or knowledge. In this sense, neither high intelligence nor eccentric skills by themselves qualify a child as a prodigy. Rather, it is the capacity to perform in a recognized area of endeavour in such a way as to receive broad acclaim that defines the prodigy. Therefore, individuals who are chess prodigies or "lightning calculators" (those who have a remarkable memory for figures) but who are otherwise mentally or developmentally disabled (such as "idiot savants") are not prodigies.

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Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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