Dictionary > English Dictionary > Definition, synonym and antonym of Genius
Meaning of genius by Wiktionary Dictionary



    From Latin genius ( “the guardian spirit of a person, spirit, inclination, wit, genius, literally 'inborn nature'” ) < gignere ( “to beget, produce” ), OL. genere, the root gen; see genus .


    • Rhymes: -iːniəs


    genius ( plural: genii ( formal, classical Roman mythology ) or geniuses ( colloquial ) )

    1. Someone possessing extraordinary intelligence or skill; especially somebody who has demonstrated this by a creative or original work in science, music, art etc .
    2. Extraordinary mental capacity .
    3. inspiration, a mental leap, an extraordinary creative process .
      A work of genius
    4. ( Roman mythology ) The guardian spirit of a place or person .
    5. A way of thinking, optimizing one's capacity for learning and understanding .


    • See also Wikisaurus:genius


    External links

    • genius in Webster’s Revised Unabridged Dictionary, G. & C. Merriam, 1913
    • genius in The Century Dictionary, The Century Co., New York, 1911

Definition of genius by GCIDE Dictionary


  1. Genius n.; pl. E. Geniuses ; in sense 1, L. Genii [L. genius, prop., the superior or divine nature which is innate in everything, the spirit, the tutelar deity or genius of a person or place, taste, talent, genius, from genere, gignere, to beget, bring forth. See Gender, and cf. Engine.]
    1. A good or evil spirit, or demon, supposed by the ancients to preside over a man's destiny in life; a tutelary deity; a supernatural being; a spirit, good or bad. Cf. Jinnee.

    Syn. -- genie.

    The unseen genius of the wood. Milton.

    We talk of genius still, but with thought how changed! The genius of Augustus was a tutelary demon, to be sworn by and to receive offerings on an altar as a deity. Tylor.

    2. The peculiar structure of mind with which each individual is endowed by nature; that disposition or aptitude of mind which is peculiar to each man, and which qualifies him for certain kinds of action or special success in any pursuit; special taste, inclination, or disposition; as, “a genius for history, for poetry, or painting”.

    3. Peculiar character; animating spirit, as of a nation, a religion, a language.

    4. Distinguished mental superiority; uncommon intellectual power; especially, superior power of invention or origination of any kind, or of forming new combinations; as, “a man of genius”.

    Genius of the highest kind implies an unusual intensity of the modifying power. Coleridge.

    5. A man endowed with uncommon vigor of mind; a man of superior intellectual faculties and creativity; as, “Shakespeare was a rare genius”.

    Syn. -- Genius, Talent. Genius implies high and peculiar gifts of nature, impelling the mind to certain favorite kinds of mental effort, and producing new combinations of ideas, imagery, etc. Talent supposes general strength of intellect, with a peculiar aptitude for being molded and directed to specific employments and valuable ends and purposes. Genius is connected more or less with the exercise of imagination, and reaches its ends by a kind of intuitive power. Talent depends more on high mental training, and a perfect command of all the faculties, memory, judgment, sagacity, etc. Hence we speak of a genius for poetry, painting. etc., and a talent for business or diplomacy. Among English orators, Lord Chatham was distinguished for his genius; William Pitt for his preëminent talents, and especially his unrivaled talent for debate.

    Genius loci ( ) [L.], the genius or presiding divinity of a place; hence, the pervading spirit of a place or institution, as of a college, etc.