Definition of ingenuity in English:



  • The quality of being clever, original, and inventive.

    • ‘They must use all their ingenuity to complete their hazardous work and survive.’
    • ‘Her soulful lyrics expose her vulnerability as an artist and her ingenuity as a poet.’
    • ‘But then they are just career politicians afraid of imagination and ingenuity.’
    • ‘His intelligence and ingenuity have enabled him to become the number one predator.’
    • ‘I marvel at the almost boundless ingenuity and skill of mankind sometimes.’
    • ‘In every way - performance, build quality, ingenuity of design - it is the better car.’
    • ‘He resolves to build a monument to nineteenth century ingenuity and invention that will blend fantasy and reality.’
    • ‘The film's landscape of urban desolation must have taken some ingenuity to achieve.’
    • ‘Smaller boats are masterpieces of ingenuity, with folding tables and settees which convert into beds.’
    • ‘This is because there was little structural inventiveness or technical ingenuity.’
    • ‘Bookshops can deploy all their marketing ingenuity to produce imaginative displays.’
    • ‘The elements of heaven and earth are elegantly manifested by the artists' ingenuity.’
    • ‘His clocks were masterpieces of skill, precision, ingenuity, and determination.’
    • ‘Rather, the curators have used their resources with ingenuity to make us look at Dutch painting in a very different way.’
    • ‘Originality and ingenuity are the aims of a competition launched at a Trowbridge school on Friday.’
    • ‘Only with human ingenuity, inspiration and ability can we sample what our neighbouring world has to offer.’
    • ‘By the very nature of them it is clear you are a man of some intelligence and some ingenuity.’
    • ‘Despite the technology, you still need human talent and ingenuity to create a work of greatness.’
    • ‘The story is told with considerable ingenuity and also a little humour from a team fully in touch with their puppet world.’
    • ‘However, these are remarkable examples of ingenuity as well as artistry.’
    inventiveness, creativity, imagination, originality, innovation, resourcefulness, enterprise, insight, inspiration, perceptiveness, perception, intuition, flair, finesse, artistry, genius
    cleverness, intelligence, brilliance, mastery, talent, skill
    sharpness, astuteness, acumen, acuity, sharp-wittedness, quick-wittedness, quickness, shrewdness
    thinking outside the box
    View synonyms


Late 16th century (also in the senses nobility and ingenuousness): from Latin ingenuitas ingenuousness from ingenuus inborn The current meaning arose by confusion of ingenuous with ingenious.