Definition of genius in English:


Syllabification: gen·ius
Pronunciation: /ˈjēnyəs

noun (plural geniuses)

  • 2A person who is exceptionally intelligent or creative, either generally or in some particular respect: one of the great musical geniuses of the 20th century
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    • 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, gifted person, mastermind, Einstein, intellectual, great intellect, brain, mind; prodigy
    informal egghead, bright spark, brainiac, rocket scientist
  • 3 (plural genii /ˈjēnēˌī/) (In some mythologies) a guardian spirit associated with a 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.
  • 4 (plural genii) The prevalent character or spirit of something such as a nation or age: 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 marketing ploy 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 'tutelary 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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Word of the day coloratura
Pronunciation: ˌkələrəˈto͝orə
elaborate ornamentation of a vocal melody