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ingenious Syllabification: in·gen·ious
Pronunciation: /inˈjēnyəs/

Definition of ingenious in English:


1(Of a person) clever, original, and inventive: he was ingenious enough to overcome the limited budget
More example sentences
  • We are ingenious and we make great things, be it art, music or inventions.
  • It was an unfortunate combination of poor building design and a couple of bright minds ingenious enough to take advantage of it.
  • What you have to believe is that humans are a very inventive and ingenious species.
clever, intelligent, smart, brilliant, masterly, talented, gifted, skillful;
elaborate, sophisticated
1.1(Of a machine or idea) cleverly and originally devised and well suited to its purpose.
Example sentences
  • An English geologist has come up with one of the most ingenious ideas yet suggested.
  • Using the concept of tax relief as the means of reparation is also an ingenious idea.
  • The company has a reputation for inventive adaptations, ingenious design and musical innovation.


Ingenious and ingenuous are often confused. Ingenious means ‘clever, skillful, resourceful’ ( an ingenious device), while ingenuous means ‘artless, frank’ ( charmed by the ingenuous honesty of the child).


Pronunciation: /inˈjēnyəsnəs/
Example sentences
  • In fact, all you need is a reasonable grasp of physics and electrical engineering to appreciate the ingeniousness of microwave weapons.
  • The ingeniousness of tatami is realised as a square is removed to reveal the pit, which naturally is black lacquer with seasonal embossed images.
  • Justin soon realized the ingeniousness of this.


Late Middle English: from French ingénieux or Latin ingeniosus, from ingenium 'mind, intellect'; compare with engine.

  • engine from Middle English:

    Engine is from Old French engin, from Latin ingenium ‘talent, device’, the source also of ingenious (Late Middle English). Like many English words that now start with en-, it could also be spelled in-. Its original senses were ‘ingenuity, cunning’, and ‘natural talent, wit, genius’, which survives in Scots as ingine. From there it became ‘the product of ingenuity, a plot, or snare’, and also ‘a tool or weapon’, specifically a large mechanical weapon, such as a battering ram or heavy catapult, constructed by engineers (Middle English). By the first half of the 17th century something like our idea of an engine had arisen, a fairly complex device with moving parts that worked together.

Words that rhyme with ingenious

genius, heterogeneous, homogeneous
Definition of ingenious in:
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