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genius Line breaks: ge¦nius
Pronunciation: /ˈdʒiːnɪəs/

Definition of genius in English:

noun (plural geniuses)

1 [mass noun] Exceptional intellectual or creative power or other natural ability: she was a teacher of genius [in singular]: that woman has a genius for organization
More example sentences
  • It was this man who, in 1799, combined a passion for power with his genius for leadership.
  • The player is valued by his ability to play with skill, courage, commitment, genius, flair, strength and legitimate aggression.
  • Their affiliation does not spring from supposed gifts of natural genius.
brilliance, great intelligence, great intellect, great ability, cleverness, brains, erudition, wisdom, sagacity, fine mind, wit, artistry, flair, creative power, precocity, precociousness
talent, gift, flair, aptitude, facility, knack, technique, touch, bent, ability, expertise, capacity, power, faculty;
endowment, strength, strong point, forte, brilliance;
dexterity, adroitness, skill, cleverness, virtuosity, artistry
2An exceptionally intelligent person or one with exceptional skill in a particular area of activity: a mathematical genius
More example sentences
  • It was indeed the activity of the geniuses, of the masters of their craft, that made the rules.
  • It is, after all, the biggest country on earth with a colossal roll-call of intellectual and artistic geniuses.
  • This Valentine's Day, for the first time, the two musical geniuses are coming together.
brilliant person, mental giant, mastermind, Einstein, intellectual, intellect, brain, highbrow, expert, master, artist, polymath;
prodigy, gifted child;
French idiot savant
informal egghead, brains, bright spark, whizz, wizard, ninja, alpha geek, walking encyclopedia
British informal brainbox, clever clogs, boffin
North American informal brainiac, rocket scientist, maven
3A person regarded as exerting a powerful influence over another for good or evil: he sees Adams as the man’s evil genius this young man is my good genius, my guardian angel
More example sentences
  • 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.
3.1 (plural genii ˈdʒiːnɪʌɪ) (In some mythologies) a spirit associated with a particular person, place, or institution.
Example sentences
  • The niches perhaps also recall Roman lararia, and the snakes the protective genii associated with such household shrines.
4The prevailing character or spirit of something: Boucher’s paintings did not suit the austere genius of neoclassicism
More example sentences
  • 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
More example sentences
  • Whoever had the 'genius' idea to make Cole Porter 'hip with the kids' needs a brain transplant.
  • The genius idea in Shrek 2 is Shrek turning into a handsome hero.
  • The opening is the same kind of slow music as the "New World" largo, without the genius touches (like the opening chordal passage) that distinguish the Dvorak.


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).

Words that rhyme with genius

heterogeneous, homogeneous, ingenious
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