The Meaning of Genius: What It Is and How To Use It

Who is to say where true genius lies? This guide will give you information on what qualifies someone as a genius and the meaning of genius!

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Not to be confused with genus, the word genius is a fairly common one. However, just because we hear the word genius everywhere does not mean that we really know what it means. Thankfully, the Word Counter is here to help with a guide to the meaning of genius, so you can get one step closer to becoming one.

What Does the Word Genius Mean?

According to Collins English Dictionary, the noun genius refers to a person who is highly intelligent, creative, or talented. It can also refer to the concept of that intelligence or talent. The word genius is two syllables (gen-ius), and the pronunciation of genius is dʒiːniəs

According to Dictionary, the word genius can also refer to a Roman myth in which a person has one guiding spirit that leads them from birth to death. This guardian can also guide an institution or a group of people. In ancient legend, this could be an evil spirit, demon, or ​tutelary deity that is good or bad. This type of spirit also exists in Arabian mythology as a jinn or demon.

What Are Translations of the Word Genius?

Geniuses exist all over the world in many forms. Therefore, it is inevitable that languages around the world created their own words for genius, which are listed below. 

This list of translations of the word genius can give you the ability to communicate with people who speak other languages about the concept of genius and geniuses:

  • Turkish: dahi‎
  • Sorani: بلیمه‌ت‎
  • Korean: 천재‎ (天才‎)
  • Hungarian: géniusz‎, zseni‎, lángész‎, lángelme‎
  • Tagalog: henyo‎
  • Spanish: genio‎ (masc.), genia‎ (fem.)
  • Irish: duine ardéirime‎ (masc.)
  • Macedonian: гениј‎, генијалец‎
  • Mandarin: 人才‎ (réncái), 天才‎
  • German: Genie‎ (neut.)
  • Slovene: genij‎ (masc.)
  • Vietnamese: bậc anh tài‎
  • Galician: xenio‎ (masc.)
  • Basque: jeinu‎
  • Dutch: genie‎ (neut.)
  • Azeri: dahi‎
  • Malay: pintar‎
  • Latvian: ģēnijs‎ (masc.)
  • Thai: อัจฉริยบุคคล‎ (àtchàríyá bùkkon)
  • Catalan: geni‎ (masc.)
  • Russian: ге́ний‎ (masc.)
  • Khmer: ទេពារក្ស‎ (teipiereak)
  • Welsh: athrylith‎ (masc.) (f)
  • Bulgarian: гений‎
  • Finnish: nero‎
  • Polish: geniusz‎ (masc.)
  • Czech: génius‎ (masc.)
  • Greek: μεγαλοφυία‎ (fem.), ιδιοφυία‎ (fem.)
  • Japanese: 天才‎ (てんさい, tensai)
  • Esperanto: geniulo‎
  • Persian: نابفه‎ (nâbeğe)
  • Icelandic: snillingur‎ (masc.)
  • Romanian: geniu‎ (neut.)
  • Arabic: عَبْقَرِيّ‎
  • Portuguese: génio‎ (masc.) (Portugal), gênio‎ (masc.) (Brazil)
  • French: génie‎ (masc.)
  • Estonian: geenius‎
  • Swedish: geni‎ (neut.)
  • Hawaiian: akamai‎
  • Armenian: հանճար‎
  • Indonesian: genius‎, jenius‎

What Is the Etymology of Genius?

According to Your Dictionary of the English Language, the word genius comes from the original Latin genius. This refers to the secondary definition of genius as a person’s guardian spirit. The Latin genius stems from the Latin gignere, meaning to beget or to produce. Gignere comes from the Old Latin genre and its root gen, which also gives us words like genus.

How Can the Word Genius Be Used in a Sentence?

The word genius is versatile and can be used to describe many people who are talented in various ways. To get a sense of how to use the word genius in a sentence, reference the examples below. Then, see if you can use this word of the day in conversation today!

Destiny was an evil genius; a child prodigy with a high IQ, it was her inborn nature to be incredible at mathematics. However, she decided to use her exceptional ability and natural talent for evil, not good.

Da Vinci was a man of genius in many ways; a man of superior intellectual faculties and the superior power of invention, he was a special success for many kinds of action. This distinctive character was on the same level as Albert Einstein and Isaac Newton.

The young genius had exceptional intellectual ability; however, she struggled to use such ability to have great influence over others. Her inspiration worked best behind the scenes, from her poetry to her musical genius.

She was a genius when it came to design; the woman was able to use her special taste to find new combinations of pieces. Her extraordinary creative process and uncommon vigor of mind caused her to quickly rise to the top of the interior decorating field.

What Are Synonyms of the Word Genius?

Sometimes genius just isn’t the right word for a particular situation; in this case, you can use a synonym. A synonym is a word that has the same or a similar definition as another word or phrase. If you’re looking for a synonym for the word genius, this list from Power Thesaurus is sure to help:

  • ability
  • ace
  • adept
  • aptitude
  • artistry
  • bent
  • brain
  • brainiac
  • brains
  • brilliance
  • brilliant
  • capability
  • capacity
  • champion
  • cleverness
  • demon
  • egghead
  • einstein
  • expert
  • expertise
  • facility
  • faculty
  • flair
  • gift
  • hotshot
  • ingenuity
  • intellect
  • intellectual
  • intelligence
  • knack
  • maestro
  • master
  • mastermind
  • maven
  • mavin
  • mind
  • prodigy
  • savant
  • scholar
  • sensation
  • skill
  • star
  • superstar
  • talent
  • thinker
  • virtuoso
  • whiz
  • wizard
  • wizardry

What Are Antonyms of the Word Genius?

To learn words that mean the opposite of the word genius, this list of antonyms of genius from Power Thesaurus can help get you started:

  • amateur
  • as daft as a brush
  • berk
  • bird-brain
  • blockhead
  • boob
  • clod
  • clot
  • clown
  • coocoo
  • cretin
  • damn fool
  • disorganised person
  • dolt
  • donkey
  • doofus
  • dope
  • dumb
  • dumb as a bag of hammers
  • dumb as a box of rocks
  • dumbbell
  • dummy
  • dunce
  • fat-headed
  • fathead
  • fool
  • gander
  • glimmer
  • goof
  • half-wit
  • halfwit
  • idiot
  • ignoramus
  • imbecile
  • inability
  • incapacity
  • jackass
  • moron
  • nincompoop
  • nitwit
  • simpleton
  • stupid
  • stupid person
  • turkey


Overall, the word genius commonly refers to distinguished mental superiority, uncommon intellectual power, or a peculiar structure of mind, as well as extraordinary intelligence and aptitude of mind. 

Genius can take many forms, from artistic genius to mathematical genius. Someone who is a genius might have a high intelligence quotient or a special understanding for one domain. This can also be used to refer to the guardian spirit of a person or guardian spirit of a place.


  1. Genius synonyms – 2 140 Words and Phrases for Genius | Power Thesaurus 
  2. Genius antonyms – 1 819 Opposites of Genius | Power Thesaurus 
  3. Genius Definition & Meaning | 
  4. Genius Meaning | Best 25 Definitions of Genius | Your Dictionary
  5. Genius definition and meaning | Collins English Dictionary