1. Having great inventive skill and imagination: an ingenious negotiator.
2. Marked by or exhibiting originality or inventiveness: an ingenious solution to the problem.
3. Obsolete Having genius; brilliant.
[Middle English, from Old French ingenios, from Latin ingeniōsus, from ingenium, inborn talent; see genə- in the Appendix of Indo-European roots.]
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2022 by HarperCollins Publishers. All rights reserved.
Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.