en·​gen·​der | \ in-ˈjen-dər How to pronounce engender (audio) , en- \
engendered; engendering\ in-​ˈjen-​d(ə-​)riŋ How to pronounce engender (audio) , en-​ \

Definition of engender

transitive verb

2 : to cause to exist or to develop : produce policies that have engendered controversy

intransitive verb

: to assume form : originate

Did you know?

When engender was first used in the 14th century, it meant "propagate" or "procreate," but extended meanings soon developed. Engender comes from the Latin verb generare, which means "to generate" or "to beget." Generate, regenerate, degenerate, and generation are of course related to the Latin verb as well. As you might suspect, the list of engender relatives does not end there. Generare comes from the Latin noun genus, meaning "birth," "race," or "kind." From this source we have our own word genus, plus gender, general, and generic, among other words.

Examples of engender in a Sentence

The issue has engendered a considerable amount of debate. a suggestion to go out for pizza that didn't seem to engender any interest
Recent Examples on the Web Winner of the 2019 German Book Prize, this realistic portrayal of refugees will engender compassion with its humor and subtlety. Washington Post, 1 Dec. 2021 Importantly, focusing on delivering a better customer experience and putting customers first is good business and can help engender trust. Monica Kumar, Forbes, 9 Nov. 2021 At Boston College, biomedical engineer Glenn Gaudette is using similar decellularization techniques on spinach leaves, coating them in human heart cells to engender cardiovascular tissues. Raleigh Mcelvery, Smithsonian Magazine, 29 Nov. 2021 Jon Roy, vice president of global energy brand marketing at Converse, said his company is constantly looking for young creatives who also want to engender positive change in their communities. Selene Rivera Staff Writer, Los Angeles Times, 23 Oct. 2021 Given the fact that higher education tends to engender brighter economic prospects, today’s abundance of freshwomen relative to freshmen is a recipe for a future in which jobs are more abundant for women than for men. Joseph W. Sullivan, National Review, 22 Oct. 2021 Nelson, whose full title is foreign rights director, will tap into her considerable network of international publishers on behalf of UTA’s clients as well as look for and engender new opportunities and broader audiences in translation. K.j. Yossman, Variety, 3 Nov. 2021 Who exactly does Jonah believe is likely to benefit from the even-more-angry Republican base that his plan would almost certainly engender? Charles C. W. Cooke, National Review, 12 Oct. 2021 Getting rid of human driving and replacing the driving action with an AI driving system will provide some benefits but will also engender some drawbacks. Lance Eliot, Forbes, 8 Oct. 2021

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'engender.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of engender

14th century, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1

History and Etymology for engender

Middle English engendren, from Anglo-French engendrer, from Latin ingenerare, from in- + generare to generate

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The first known use of engender was in the 14th century

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Last Updated

12 Jan 2022

Cite this Entry

“Engender.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/engender. Accessed 23 Jan. 2022.

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More Definitions for engender



English Language Learners Definition of engender

: to be the source or cause of (something)

More from Merriam-Webster on engender

Nglish: Translation of engender for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of engender for Arabic Speakers


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