Ask Difference

Genius vs. Gifted — What's the Difference?

By Maham Liaqat & Fiza Rafique — Updated on March 29, 2024
A genius displays exceptional intellectual ability, creativity, or originality, often to a degree that is associated with the achievement of unprecedented insight. Gifted refers to having above-average intelligence or abilities in one or more areas.
Genius vs. Gifted — What's the Difference?

Difference Between Genius and Gifted


Key Differences

Genius typically connotes an extraordinary level of intelligence, creativity, and originality that enables breakthroughs in thinking, art, or science. These individuals often contribute novel insights or innovations in their fields. On the other hand, gifted individuals possess high intelligence or superior talents in specific areas, but their abilities may not always lead to groundbreaking innovations.
While geniuses often transform their fields with their unique perspectives and discoveries, gifted individuals excel within existing paradigms, achieving high levels of accomplishment. Their abilities are usually recognized through standardized measurements, whereas genius can be more difficult to quantify.
Geniuses are often celebrated for their original contributions and ability to think beyond the conventional, making new paths in their fields of endeavor. Gifted individuals, however, are frequently acknowledged for their excellence and high performance in academic or artistic pursuits.
The distinction also lies in the realm of creativity and innovation. Geniuses typically exhibit a high degree of both, often revolutionizing their areas of expertise. Gifted individuals might not necessarily display the same level of creativity or desire to innovate but excel within established structures.
Despite these differences, both genius and gifted individuals contribute significantly to society. Geniuses may alter our understanding of the world, while gifted people often excel in advancing knowledge, arts, and sciences within the current frameworks.

Comparison Chart


Exceptional intellectual ability leading to creation
Above-average intelligence in one or more areas


High, often transformative
Variable, not always present


Breakthrough innovations
High levels of accomplishment


Through impact and innovation
Through standardized measurements


Transformative in field
Excel within existing paradigms

Compare with Definitions


Exceptional Intellectual Ability.
Einstein's theory of relativity revolutionized physics and our understanding of the universe.


Early Development.
Gifted children often learn to read or compute math at an early age.


Creative Insight.
Leonardo da Vinci's inventions and artworks displayed unparalleled creativity and genius.


Special Abilities.
A gifted artist can create detailed and expressive artworks.


Transformative Impact.
Mozart’s compositions significantly influenced the development of classical music.


High Intelligence.
A gifted student often excels academically across various subjects.


Original Contributions.
Marie Curie’s research led to the discovery of radioactivity, a feat of genius in science.


Superior Talents.
A gifted musician may master complex compositions at a young age.


Innovative Thinking.
Steve Jobs's vision for Apple introduced groundbreaking technology products.


Academic Achievement.
Gifted individuals frequently score top marks on standardized tests.


A genius is a person who displays exceptional intellectual ability, creative productivity, universality in genres, or originality, typically to a degree that is associated with the achievement of new discoveries or advances in a domain of knowledge. Geniuses may be polymaths who excel across many diverse subjects or may show high achievements in only a single kind of activity.There is no scientifically precise definition of a genius.


Having exceptional talent or natural ability
A gifted amateur musician


Extraordinary intellectual and creative power
Artistic works of genius.


Endowed with great natural ability, intelligence, or talent
A gifted child.
A gifted pianist.


A person of extraordinary intellect and talent.


Revealing special talent
A gifted rendition of the aria.


A person who has an exceptionally high intelligence quotient, typically above 140.


Received as a gift
Gifted assets.
A gifted bracelet.


A strong natural talent, aptitude, or inclination
Has a genius for choosing the right words.


Endowed with special, in particular intellectual, abilities.
A gifted artist
A school for gifted children


One who has such a talent or inclination
A genius at diplomacy.


Simple past tense and past participle of gift


The prevailing spirit or distinctive character, as of a place, a person, or an era
The genius of Elizabethan England.


Having unusual talent in some field.


Pl. ge·ni·i (jēnē-ī′) Roman Mythology A tutelary deity or guardian spirit of a person or place.


Having exceptionally high intelligence; - said of children, especially in discourse on education; as, a program for gifted children.


Someone possessing extraordinary intelligence or skill; especially somebody who has demonstrated this by a creative or original work in science, music, art etc.
Idiot savant


Showing a natural aptitude for something


Extraordinary mental capacity.


Inspiration, a mental leap, an extraordinary creative process.
A work of genius
To add a dash of cinnamon amid such umami was pure genius


The tutelary deity or spirit of a place or person.
And the genius of the place: the growing enthusiasm for codified standards in the Army and Navy


(informal) Ingenious, brilliant, very clever, or original.
What a genius idea!


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. Jinnee.
The unseen genius of the wood.
We talk of genius still, but with thought how changed! The genius of 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; as, a genius for 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 genius.
Genius of the highest kind implies an unusual intensity of the modifying power.


A man endowed with uncommon vigor of mind; a man of superior intellectual faculties and creativity; as, Shakespeare was a rare genius.


Someone who has exceptional intellectual ability and originality;
Mozart was a child genius
He's smart but he's no Einstein


Unusual mental ability


Someone who is dazzlingly skilled in any field


Exceptional creative ability


A natural talent;
He has a flair for mathematics
He has a genius for interior decorating

Common Curiosities

How is being gifted different from being a genius?

Being gifted refers to above-average intelligence or skills in specific areas, without necessarily the creative or innovative aspect associated with genius.

Can a gifted individual become a genius?

While giftedness is about potential, becoming a genius often involves realizing that potential in transformative ways.

Are all geniuses recognized in their lifetimes?

Not all geniuses are recognized within their lifetimes; some gain recognition posthumously.

What defines a genius?

A genius displays exceptional intellectual, creative, or original abilities that often lead to significant innovations.

Is creativity a requirement for being considered a genius?

Creativity is often a significant component of genius, as it enables groundbreaking insights and innovations.

How is giftedness identified?

Giftedness is usually identified through IQ tests and assessments of specific talents or abilities.

Can someone be gifted in more than one area?

Yes, individuals can be gifted in multiple areas, such as math, music, or languages.

Is there a genetic component to being a genius or gifted?

Both genetics and environment play roles in the development of genius and gifted abilities.

Are there different levels of giftedness?

Yes, there are varying degrees of giftedness, from moderately to profoundly gifted.

What challenges do gifted individuals face?

They may face social isolation, unrealistic expectations, and lack of challenging opportunities.

Do geniuses always excel in academics?

Not necessarily; some geniuses may not perform well in traditional academic settings despite their exceptional abilities.

How can society support geniuses and gifted individuals?

By providing educational resources, mentorship, and opportunities for exploration and development.

Is it common for geniuses to have unconventional thinking?

Yes, unconventional thinking is often a hallmark of genius, allowing for unique insights and innovations.

Can the environment influence the development of a genius?

Yes, a supportive and stimulating environment can play a crucial role in the development of a genius.

How do educational systems accommodate gifted students?

Through specialized programs, acceleration, and differentiated instruction tailored to their advanced abilities.

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Author Spotlight

Written by
Maham Liaqat
Co-written by
Fiza Rafique
Fiza Rafique is a skilled content writer at, where she meticulously refines and enhances written pieces. Drawing from her vast editorial expertise, Fiza ensures clarity, accuracy, and precision in every article. Passionate about language, she continually seeks to elevate the quality of content for readers worldwide.

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