1. capability; ability; innate or acquired capacity for something; talent: She has a special aptitude for mathematics.
  2. readiness or quickness in learning; intelligence: He was placed in honors classes because of his general aptitude.
  3. the state or quality of being apt; special fitness.


  1. inherent or acquired ability
  2. ease in learning or understanding; intelligence
  3. the condition or quality of being apt

early 15c., “tendency, likelihood,” from Middle French aptitude (14c.) or directly from Late Latin aptitudo (genitive aptitudinis) “fitness,” noun of quality from Latin aptus “joined, fitted” (see apt). Meaning “natural capacity to learn” is 1540s; that of “quality of being fit (for a purpose or position)” is from 1640s.

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