Share this entry

Share this page

prodigy

Syllabification: prod·i·gy
Pronunciation: /ˈprädəjē
 
/

Definition of prodigy in English:

noun (plural prodigies)

[often with modifier]
1A person, especially a young one, endowed with exceptional qualities or abilities: a Russian pianist who was a child prodigy in his day
More example sentences
  • The story begins in Russia, where the young chess prodigy tore through distinguished grand master opposition like a sickle through soft grain.
  • By age 7, Nikolay was already recognized as a young chess prodigy, and at age 11, he was invited to one of the best chess schools in the Ukraine.
  • Western cultures tend to praise those who make difficult tasks appear easy because of their own exceptional ability, as in the child prodigy phenomenon.
Synonyms
genius, mastermind, virtuoso, wunderkind, wonder child, boy wonder, girl wonder
informal whiz kid, whiz, wizard
1.1An impressive or outstanding example of a particular quality: Germany seemed a prodigy of industrial discipline
More example sentences
  • Chirac praised the bridge's designers and builders for creating ‘a prodigy of art and architecture a new emblem of French civil engineering’.
  • Unlike the neoconservative apologists for the Republican attempt to rip off the poor, he is a genuinely original thinker, as well as a prodigy of learning.
  • At 79, she is a prodigy of youthful energy in hoisting a hefty bundle of old tricks.
Synonyms
model, classic example, paragon, paradigm, epitome, exemplar, archetype
1.2An amazing or unusual thing, especially one out of the ordinary course of nature: omens and prodigies abound in Livy’s work

Origin

late 15th century (denoting something extraordinary considered to be an omen): from Latin prodigium 'portent'.

More
  • A prodigy initially was something extraordinary considered to be an omen. It comes from Latin prodigium ‘portent’. It came to be applied to a person possessing an amazing quality or talent in the mid 17th century. Similarly prodigious (Late Middle English) only developed the sense ‘very large’ in the mid 17th century.

Words that rhyme with prodigy

cabbagyeffigy • villagey

Definition of prodigy in:

Share this entry

Share this page

 

What do you find interesting about this word or phrase?

Comments that don't adhere to our Community Guidelines may be moderated or removed.

Get more from Oxford Dictionaries

Subscribe to remove ads and access premium resources

Word of the day snarf
Pronunciation: snärf
verb
eat or drink quickly or greedily