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  • WordNet 3.6
    • adj ingenious showing inventiveness and skill "a clever gadget","the cunning maneuvers leading to his success","an ingenious solution to the problem"
    • ***
Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
    • Ingenious Mental; intellectual. "A course of learning and ingenious studies."
    • Ingenious Possessed of genius, or the faculty of invention; skillful or promp to invent; having an aptitude to contrive, or to form new combinations; as, an ingenious author, mechanic. "A man . . . very wise and ingenious in feats of war.""Thou, king, send out
      For torturers ingenious ."
      "The more ingenious men are, the more apt are they to trouble themselves."
    • Ingenious Proceeding from, pertaining to, or characterized by, genius or ingenuity; of curious design, structure, or mechanism; as, an ingenious model, or machine; an ingenious scheme, contrivance, etc. "Thus men go wrong with an ingenious skill."
    • Ingenious Witty; shrewd; adroit; keen; sagacious; as, an ingenious reply.
    • ***
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
    • ingenious Possessing inventive genius or faculty; apt in inventing, contriving, or constructing; skilful in the use of things or words: as, an ingenious mechanic; an ingenious author.
    • ingenious Mentally bright or clever; witty; conversable.
    • ingenious Marked or characterized by inventive genius; displaying or proceeding from skill in contrivance or construction; witty or clever in form or spirit; well conceived; apt: as, an ingenious machine; an ingenious process or performance; ingenious criticism.
    • ingenious Manifesting or requiring mental brightness or cleverness; intellectual; improving.
    • ingenious Ingenuous.
    • ingenious Synonyms Inventive, bright, acute, constructive. See genius.
    • ***
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
    • adj Ingenious in-jē′ni-us of good natural abilities: skilful in inventing: witty
    • ***


  • Ambrose Bierce
    “Corporation. An ingenious device for obtaining individual profit without individual responsibility.”
  • Source Unknown
    Source Unknown
    “It is impossible to make anything foolproof because fools are so ingenious.”
  • Edgar Allan Poe
    “It will be found, in fact, that the ingenious are always fanciful, and the truly imaginative never otherwise than analytic.”
  • Ambrose Bierce
    “Insurance: An ingenious modern game of chance in which the player is permitted to enjoy the comfortable conviction that he is beating the man who keeps the table.”
  • Paul Valery
    “Our judgments judge us, and nothing reveals us, exposes our weaknesses, more ingeniously than the attitude of pronouncing upon our fellows.”
  • James Joyce
    “Writing in English is the most ingenious torture ever devised for sins committed in previous lives. The English reading public explains the reason why.”


Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
L. ingeniosus, fr. ingenium, innate or natural quality, natural capacity, genius: cf. F. ingénieux,. See Engine
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
L. ingeniosusingenium, mother-wit, from in, and gen, root of gignĕre, to beget.


In literature:

The harpoon point is attached to a long line, while the harpoon shaft, by an ingenious arrangement, will slip free from the point.
"The Story of Grenfell of the Labrador" by Dillon Wallace
Their mode of capturing the white whale is extremely ingenious.
"Notes of a Twenty-Five Years' Service in the Hudson's Bay Territory" by John M'lean
M. Bayle makes one more ingenious objection, which he draws from the example of the sense of sight.
"Theodicy" by G. W. Leibniz
Ingenious were my contrivances to keep the air moist, but none answered.
"About Orchids" by Frederick Boyle
Mr. Brown's own tiger clears away, by the ingenious method of eating up what is left.
"Punch, or the London Charivari, Volume 1, Complete" by Various
Does he express it ingeniously, or with liveliness, with its seams, folds, breaks, and tissue.
"Great Pictures, As Seen and Described by Famous Writers"
And we may now proceed to give actual instances of these ingenious attempts.
"King's Cutters and Smugglers 1700-1855" by E. Keble Chatterton
An early ingenious device consisted of a piece of phosphorus contained in a tube.
"Artificial Light" by M. Luckiesh
He seems to have had an ingenious and enterprising mind.
"Salem Witchcraft, Volumes I and II" by Charles Upham
To evade the anger of the king, this ingenious device has been adopted.
"Tales from the Hindu Dramatists" by R. N. Dutta
Nor is it merely the dictum of a single man, which, however ingenious, may be paradoxical.
"Some Diversions of a Man of Letters" by Edmund William Gosse
What an interesting picture has a contemporary given of a visit to this poor and ingenious author!
"Curiosities of Literature, Vol. 1 (of 3)" by Isaac D'Israeli
It is most ingeniously contrived, and the effects are divided with unusual impartiality among the instruments.
"Contemporary American Composers" by Rupert Hughes
Many ingenious ruses were invented to avoid the legal obstructions placed in the way of play-acting.
"Customs and Fashions in Old New England" by Alice Morse Earle
One is consoled, however, by the pleasant fate of the ingenious Mr. Tattle and the intriguing Mrs.
"The Comedies of William Congreve Volume 1 [of 2]" by William Congreve
It did no end of ingenious things.
"Christopher and the Clockmakers" by Sara Ware Bassett
I will now show you the very simple and ingenious apparatus, by means of which he made these experiments.
"Conversations on Chemistry, V. 1-2" by Jane Marcet
They may be merely the ingenious products of a very cultured and elaborate brain.
"When Winter Comes to Main Street" by Grant Martin Overton
The animosity thus ingeniously revived between the princely houses lasted for many years, which was exactly what the Dutch had foreseen.
"Where the Strange Trails Go Down" by E. Alexander Powell
At that moment she was seeking, by ingenious means, to conceal the truth regarding the past.
"The Seven Secrets" by William Le Queux

In poetry:

I looked into his awful eyes:
I waited his decree:
I made ingenious attempts
To sit upon his knee.
"Envoy" by Gilbert Keith Chesterton
"To John Forbes, Esq." by Helen Maria Williams
Then the Butcher contrived an ingenious plan
For making a separate sally;
And fixed on a spot unfrequented by man,
A dismal and desolate valley.
"The Hunting Of The Snark " by Lewis Carroll
With spears, from stone or iv'ry, wrought,
Or hooks, ingenious made of bone,
He stores from out the waters brought,
Nor look'd for forest gifts, alone.
"The Indian" by Thomas Frederick Young
"Oh murder! What was that, Papa!"
"My child, It was a Motor-Car,
A most Ingenious Toy!
Designed to Captivate and Charm
Much rather than to rouse Alarm
In any English Boy.
"Hildebrand, Who was frightened" by Hilaire Belloc
"A filthy insult!" screamed the first;
The second smiled, "Ingenious blind!"
The youngest neither blessed nor cursed,
Contented to believe the worst -
That He had spoken all his mind!
"The Disciples" by Aleister Crowley

In news:

Brad Pitt's Less Famous Brother Scores Ingenious Endorsement Deal.
19 Patents Invented by Ingenious Celebrities (Plus One by Paula Abdul).
From the Globe to the Multiplex: Ingenious Shakespeare-Inspired Films.
Ingenious plot of 'Man of a Ledge' puts audiences on edge.
'Steve Jobs': Profiling An Ingenious Perfectionist.
The Ingenious, Patriotic Cynicism of Mitch McConnell.
Tim Pawlenty's Ingenious Economic Plan.
Gap and Visa make ingenious move with texts.
On the Trail of World's Most Ingenious Thief.
Calling All Ingenious Brokers–REBNY Wants YOU.
Ingenious animals at work.
What is one of the most ingenious, low-tech inventions you never heard of but which has the potential to brighten the lives of not only people in the third-world but the west as well.
Maverick Theater's live version of the cult movie is ingenious, pulse-pounding and terrifying.
Saudi Arabia may have discovered an ingenious and painless way to deal with its own "trouble with the curve".
Surprisingly, the filmmakers realized that and came up with an ingenious and amusing solution, though a bit difficult to accept.

In science:

This result was proved by [Dufresne (1990)] using discrete approximations with gamma distributed random variables and also by [Yor (1992)], using rather ingenious stochastic analysis tools.
An exponential functional of random walks
Yet, the solution, which likely requires an ingenious implementation of the image method, remains unknown even in this physically relevant geometry .
First-Passage Exponents of Multiple Random Walks
The ingenious model set forth in is however rather particular: for example the author plays with some stochastic differential equations of nonlinear Markov type that admit also Gaussian solutions and the analysis boils down to studying the behavior of the expectation and covariance of these solutions.
Transitions in active rotator systems: invariant hyperbolic manifold approach
Baake-Moody established the pure-point diffraction of weighted Dirac combs on model sets, by using Weyl’s theorem ([6, Proposition 6.2]) for model sets and an ingenious topological space.
Random fields on model sets with localized dependency and their diffraction
This method was simplified by Bender and Farach-Colton to give an ingenious solution which we briefly describe below.
A Simple Linear-Space Data Structure for Constant-Time Range Minimum Query
He introduced an ingenious argument – the Hole Argument – to demonstrate that generally covariant field equations were not permissible.
Genesis of general relativity - Discovery of general relativity
The proof of the next lemma is based on the ingenious rotation-extension technique, developed by P´osa, and applied later in a multitude of papers on Hamiltonicity, mostly of random or pseudorandom graphs (see for example,,, ).
On the number of Hamilton cycles in sparse random graphs
But also new ingenious detection methods have been developed.
Summary Talk: Challenges in Particle Astrophysics
Pure νe and/or ¯νe fluxes from beta decay of highly accelerated radioactive ions stored in rings is called Betabeam and under ingenious experimental set-ups can give extremely good sensitivity to θ13 .
The (3+2) Neutrino Mass Spectrum and Double Chooz
This ingenious extension may be somewhat misleading, however, as this “shape,” in the absence of ellipticity, has a much weaker, and purely directional, interpretation.
Semiparametrically efficient rank-based inference for shape I. optimal rank-based tests for sphericity
But, probably, very few is known about other substantial contributions of that ingenious scholar, and even less about his personal background.
Ettore Majorana and his heritage seventy years later
So we have a very large enhancement factor compared to the Standard Model three generation Jarlskog invariant. I think this is another proof that Nature is more ingenious than anyone of us here.
Round Table Discussion at the Final Session of FPCP 2008: The Future of Flavor Physics and CP
In a pursuit to understand nonequibrium systems in terms of the more treatable equilibrium ones, he devised an ingenious way of using classical spin systems to study the problem of critical dynamics by means of a master equation approach.
Reaction-Diffusion Processes Described by Three-State Quantum Chains and Integrability
In general, one does not expect sterile neutrinos to be light, but Enrico Nardi showed us an ingenious example based on E6 GUT which predicts naturally light sterile neutrinos.
Valencia 93: The Summary of Particle Theory
Possibly the most ingenious attempt to understand the statistics of turbulence is due to Kolmogorov who in 1941 proposed the idea of universality (turning the study of small scale turbulence from mechanics to fundamental physics) based on the notion of the “inertial range”.
Hydrodynamic Turbulence: a 19th Century Problem with a challenge for the 21st Century