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Latin Root of Ingenuity

I'm trying to find the definition of the root "gen/genus" from "ingenuity", but everything I've found so far says "begin, produce, birth". Now someone else said "family or clan". But the definition of ingenuity is "cleverness, inventive, resourceful, skillful". Now I'm confused- what is the correct definition? Can you help me please?

Dear Anonymous,

The Latin root of our English word ingenuity is gignere, which means to give birth to or to bring forth.

The principal parts of that verb are gigno, gignere, genui, genitus.

If you have ingenuity, you have the capacity to produce new things.

Related words include congenital and ingenious.

Hope this helps and thanks for asking a Latin teacher.



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