ingenuity 1590s, "honor, nobility," from M.Fr. ingénuité and directly from L. ingenuitatem (nom. ingenuitas) "condition of a free-born man," figuratively "generosity, noble-mindedness," from ingenuus (see INGENUOUS (Cf. ingenuous)). Etymologically, this word belongs to ingenuous, but in 17c. ingenious and ingenuous so often were confused (even by Shakespeare) that ingenuity has acquired the meaning "capacity for invention or construction" (first attested 1640s).

Etymology dictionary. 2014.


Look at other dictionaries:

  • Ingenuity — In ge*nu i*ty, n. [L. ingenuitas ingenuousness: cf. F. ing[ e]nuit[ e]. See {Ingenuous}.] 1. The quality or power of ready invention; quickness or acuteness in forming new combinations; ingeniousness; skill in devising or combining. [1913… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • ingenuity — [in΄jə no͞o′ə tē, in΄jənyo͞o′ə tē] n. [L ingenuitas < ingenuus (see INGENUOUS): INGENUITY sense 1 infl. by assoc. with INGENIOUS] 1. Obs. the quality of being ingenuous 2. the quality of being ingenious; cleverness, originality, skill, etc. 3 …   English World dictionary

  • ingenuity — index artifice, gift (flair), performance (workmanship), skill, specialty (special aptitude) Burton s Legal Thesaurus. William C. Burton …   Law dictionary

  • ingenuity — [n] cleverness ability, adroitness, astuteness, brains, brightness, brilliance, creativity, cunning, dexterity, flair, genius, gumption, intelligence, inventiveness, resourcefulness, shrewdness, skill, smartness, talent, wisdom, wit; concept 409 …   New thesaurus

  • ingenuity — ► NOUN ▪ the quality of being ingenious. ORIGIN Latin ingenuitas ingenuousness , from ingenuus inborn ; the current meaning arose by confusion of ingenuous with ingenious …   English terms dictionary

  • ingenuity — noun ADJECTIVE ▪ considerable, great ▪ a little ▪ technical ▪ human ▪ American, Yankee …   Collocations dictionary

  • ingenuity — n. 1) human ingenuity 2) the ingenuity to + inf. (she had the ingenuity to succeed where everyone else had failed) * * * [ˌɪndʒɪ njuːɪtɪ] human ingenuity the ingenuity to + inf. (she had the ingenuity to succeed where everyone else had failed) …   Combinatory dictionary

  • Ingenuity — The term ingenuity or applied ideas is used in the analysis of Thomas Homer Dixon, building on that of Paul Romer, to refer to what is usually called instructional capital. is often inherent in creative individuals, and thus is considered hard to …   Wikipedia

  • ingenuity — /in jeuh nooh i tee, nyooh /, n., pl. ingenuities for 3. 1. the quality of being cleverly inventive or resourceful; inventiveness: a designer of great ingenuity. 2. cleverness or skillfulness of conception or design: a device of great ingenuity.… …   Universalium

  • ingenuity — [[t]ɪ̱nʤənju͟ːɪti, AM nu͟ː [/t]] N UNCOUNT Ingenuity is skill at working out how to achieve things or skill at inventing new things. Inspecting the nest can be difficult and may require some ingenuity …   English dictionary

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