Neo·​gene | \ ˈnē-ə-ˌjēn How to pronounce Neogene (audio) \

Definition of Neogene

: of, relating to, or being the later portion of the Tertiary including the Miocene and Pliocene or the corresponding system of rocks

Other Words from Neogene

Neogene noun

First Known Use of Neogene

1859, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for Neogene

borrowed from German Neogen, noun (originally usually in compounds, as Neogen-Epoche, Neogenformation), from neo- neo- + -gen, borrowed from Greek -genēs "being born, arising" — more at -gen

Note: German Neogen was introduced by the Austrian paleontologist Moritz Hörnes (1815-68). He explained the name as follows (in "Mittheilungen an Professor Bronn gerichtet," "Wien, 3. Okt. 1853," Neues Jahrbuch für Mineralogie, Geologie, Geognosie und Petrefakten-Kunde, Jahrgang 1853, p. 806): "Das häufige Vorkommen der Wiener Mollusken sowohl in der typisch-meiocänen als in den typisch-pleiocänen Ablagerungen veranlasste mich, um das ewige Einerlei bei Angabe des Vorkommen zu vermeiden, beide Anlagerungen vorläufig unter den Namen N e o g e n (νεος neu und γιγνομαι entstehen) im trennenden Gegensatze zu den eocänen zusammenfassen." ("The frequent occurrence of Vienna mollusks in typical Miocene as well as in typical Pliocene deposits induced me—in order to avoid the perpetual monotony [of citing] details about their occurrence—to subsume both deposits provisionally under the name Neogene (neos new and gignomai to arise) in marked contrast to the Eocene.")

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The first known use of Neogene was in 1859

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Cite this Entry

“Neogene.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 25 Feb. 2021.

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