The state of North Carolina defines gifted as, "Academically or intellectually gifted students perform or show the potential to perform at substantially high levels of accomplishment when compared with others of their age, experience, or environment."
As an educator my personal definition of gifted is, when a student shows more out of the box thinking abilities than other children their age. This giftedness can be in academics, sports, musicality, etc. They can be pushed and challenged to think more creatively and innovatively. They require special services to do this. Gifted students also are typically given harder work than those of their peers to help push them to reach their potential. Gifted students can come from any race, religion, or socioeconomic status.