Definition of prodigy in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˈprɒdɪdʒi/

noun (plural prodigies)

[often with modifier]
1A young person 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.
child genius, genius, wonder child, mastermind, virtuoso;
German wunderkind
informal whizz-kid, whizz, wizard, Einstein
1.1An 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.
model, classic example, paragon, paradigm, epitome, exemplar, ideal, prototype, archetype, type
1.2An amazing or unusual thing, especially one out of the ordinary course of nature: omens and prodigies abound in Livy’s work


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

  • 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.

For editors and proofreaders

Line breaks: prod|igy

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