Webster 1913 Edition
(#); in sense 1, L.
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.
Syn. – genie.
geniusof the wood.
We talk of genius still, but with thought how changed! The
geniusof Augustus was a tutelary demon, to be sworn by and to receive offerings on an altar as a deity.
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;
geniusfor history, for poetry, or painting
Peculiar character; animating spirit, as of a nation, a religion, a language.
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.
Geniusof the highest kind implies an unusual intensity of the modifying power.
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.
the genius or presiding divinity of a place; hence, the pervading spirit of a place or institution, as of a college, etc.
Webster 1828 Edition
1.Among the ancients, a good or evil spirit or demon supposed to preside over a man's destiny in life, that is, to direct his birth and actions and be his guard and guide; a tutelary deity; the ruling and protecting power of men, places or things. This seems to be merely a personification or deification of the particular structure or bent of mind which a man receives from nature,which is the primary signification of the word.
2.The peculiar structure of mind which is given by nature to an individual, or that disposition or bent of mind which is peculiar to every man, and which qualifies him for a particular employment; a particular natural talent or aptitude of mind for a particular study or course of life; as a genius for history, for poetry or painting.
3.Strength of mind; uncommon powers of intellect, particularly the power of invention. In this sense we say, Homer was a man of genius. Hence,
4.A man endowed with uncommon vigor of mind; a man of superior intellectual faculties. Shakespeare was a rare-genius.
5.Mental powers or faculties. [See No.2.]
6.Nature; disposition; peculiar character; as the genius of the times.
genius (plural geniuses or genii)
- (eulogistic) Someone possessing extraordinary intelligence or skill; especially somebody who has demonstrated this by a creative or original work in science, music, art etc.
- 1898, Winston Churchill, chapter 1, in The Celebrity:
- In the old days, to my commonplace and unobserving mind, he gave no evidences of genius whatsoever. He never read me any of his manuscripts, […], and therefore my lack of detection of his promise may in some degree be pardoned.
- Extraordinary mental capacity.
- Inspiration, a mental leap, an extraordinary creative process.
- a work of genius.
- (Roman mythology) The guardian spirit of a place or person.
- A way of thinking, optimizing one's capacity for learning and understanding.
- See also Wikisaurus:genius
someone possessing extraordinary intelligence or skill
extraordinary mental capacity
genius (not comparable)
From Proto-Indo-European *ǵenh₁- (“to beget”).
- (Classical) IPA(key): /ˈɡe.ni.us/, [ˈɡɛ.ni.ʊs]
genius m (genitive geniī); second declension
- the deity or guardian spirit of a person, place, etc.
- (with respect to the enjoyment of life) the spirit of social enjoyment, fondness for good living, taste, appetite, inclinations
- (of the intellect) wit, talents, genius (rare)
1Found in older Latin (until the Augustan Age).
- genius in Charlton T. Lewis and Charles Short (1879) A Latin Dictionary, Oxford: Clarendon Press
- genius in Charlton T. Lewis (1891) An Elementary Latin Dictionary, New York: Harper & Brothers
- GENIUS in Charles du Fresne du Cange’s Glossarium Mediæ et Infimæ Latinitatis (augmented edition, 1883–1887)
- Félix Gaffiot (1934), “genius”, in Dictionnaire Illustré Latin-Français, Paris: Hachette.
- genius in Harry Thurston Peck, editor (1898) Harper's Dictionary of Classical Antiquities, New York: Harper & Brothers
- genius in William Smith, editor (1848) A Dictionary of Greek Biography and Mythology, London: John Murray
- genius in William Smith et al., editor (1890) A Dictionary of Greek and Roman Antiquities, London: William Wayte. G. E. Marindin