Definition of genius in English:

genius

Line breaks: ge¦nius
Pronunciation: /ˈdʒiːnɪəs
 
/

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.
Synonyms
brilliance, great intelligence, great intellect, great ability, cleverness, brains, erudition, wisdom, sagacity, fine mind, wit, artistry, flair, creative power, precocity, precociousnesstalent, 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.
Synonyms
brilliant person, mental giant, mastermind, Einstein, intellectual, intellect, brain, highbrow, expert, master, artist, polymath; prodigy, gifted child; Frenchidiot savant
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.
More 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.

adjective

informal Back to top  
Very clever or ingenious: a genius idea this book was absolutely genius in parts
More example sentences
  • 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.

Origin

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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