Definition of genius in English:


Line breaks: ge¦nius
Pronunciation: /ˈdʒiːnɪəs

noun (plural geniuses)

  • 3 (plural genii /ˈdʒiːnɪʌɪ/) (In some mythologies) a spirit associated with a particular person, place, or institution.
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    • The niches perhaps also recall Roman lararia, and the snakes the protective genii associated with such household shrines.
  • 3.1A person regarded as exerting a powerful influence over another for good or evil: he sees Adams as the man’s evil genius
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    • He was known as the evil genius of the Nixon administration, you may recall.
    • He's the evil genius behind the biggest political con-trick in history.
    • The evil genii at the helm in fact want Dean to be the man they run against.
  • 4The prevailing character or spirit of something: Boucher’s paintings did not suit the austere genius of neoclassicism
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    • Few people today would have difficulty recognizing in Haydon the outlines of a new social character - the romantic genius.
    • Does democracy suit the genius of our two peoples, where votes are cast/obtained for considerations other than merit and manifestos?
    • Secularism suits the genius of a multi-religious, multi-caste and multi-lingual country like India best.


informal Back to top  
  • Very clever or ingenious: a genius idea this book was absolutely genius in parts
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    • We need a real genius marketing campaign, something that will put Signature Loans on the map and into the minds of millions of Missourians.
    • Yes, some genius marketing folks decided that DVD impulse buys were the way to capture their target market, so releasing four episode volumes at $9.99 would be the way to go.
    • Whoever had the 'genius' idea to make Cole Porter 'hip with the kids' needs a brain transplant.


late Middle English: from Latin, 'attendant spirit present from one's birth, innate ability or inclination', from the root of gignere 'beget'. The original sense 'spirit attendant on a person' gave rise to a sense 'a person's characteristic disposition' (late 16th century), which led to a sense 'a person's natural ability', and finally 'exceptional natural ability' (mid 17th century).

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Pronunciation: skəʊʃ
a small amount; a little