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Borrowed from Latin genus (birth, origin, a race, sort, kind) from the root gen- in Latin gignereOld Latin gegnere (to beget, produce), from Proto-Italic *gignō, from Proto-Indo-European *ǵíǵnh₁-, the reduplicated present stem of *ǵenh₁-. Cognate to Ancient Greek γίγνομαι (gígnomaito come into being, to be born, to take place). Doublet of gendergenre, and kin.


  • (UK) enPR: jēn’-əsjĕn’-əs, IPA(key)/ˈdʒiːnəs//ˈdʒɛnəs/
  • (US) enPR: jēn’-əs, IPA(key)/ˈdʒiːnəs/


genus (plural genera or (both nonstandard) genuses or genusses)

  1. (biology, taxonomy) A category in the classification of organisms, ranking below family (Lat. familia) and above species.
    1. A taxon at this rank.
    All magnolias belong to the genus Magnolia.
     Other species of the genus Bos are often called cattle or wild cattle.
     There are only two genera and species of seadragons.
  2. A group with common attributes.
  3. (topology, graph theory, algebraic geometry) A natural number representing any of several related measures of the complexity of a given manifold or graph.
  4. (semantics) Within a definition, a broader category of the defined concept.

Usage notes

  • (biology, taxonomy, rank in the classification of organisms)
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