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

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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 With Southern California kids, Oregon won by playing the sort of toughness that USC used to have, with the sort of resilience that UCLA’s Chip Kelly used to engender, thanks to the kind of recruiting that neither place is doing. Bill Plaschke, Los Angeles Times, "Column: Oregon wins Rose Bowl with players who should be on USC or UCLA," 1 Jan. 2020 Not until the fourth quarter did the Ravens’ early-season offense, the one that had engendered so much hope in Baltimore, fully materialize. Jonas Shaffer, baltimoresun.com, "‘We’re going to see them again': After disappointing loss to Chiefs, Ravens determined to fix their flaws," 23 Sep. 2019 Doug Coe, the purported leader of the Fellowship, had long expressed admiration for the ways in which leaders engendered loyalty through brotherhood, citing Hitler, Mao, and the Mafia as inspiration. Sophie Gilbert, The Atlantic, "The Patriarchal Allure of The Family," 14 Aug. 2019 The party’s fear of bold ideas engenders a public fear of the same. Libby Watson, The New Republic, "The Media’s Disingenuous Narrative About Medicare for All," 6 Dec. 2019 That has engendered a feeling among some that, because the medium rewards performative outrage, the chase for YouTube hits incentivizes guests to be more extreme in their views. Rory Smith, New York Times, "For Fans, by Fans, Against the Club," 29 Nov. 2019 Meeting that challenge engenders a special camaraderie: the reliance and partnership that teams feel when setting out on a polar quest; the knowing nod between strangers, bundled up to the eyeballs, passing each other in the frozen streets. Kieran Mulvaney, National Geographic, "‘It’s cool to be cold’: Confessions of frigid-weather fanatics," 7 Nov. 2019 Not all the witnesses who have come before the committee have engendered respect from Democrats. Alana Abramson, Time, "It's Not The Deep State That Threatens Trump. It's The State.," 24 Oct. 2019 Relatedly, the end of the Cold War engendered a newly potent transnationalism, contemptuous of national boundaries and supportive of institutions of global governance. Rich Lowry, National Review, "The Treason of the Elites," 24 Oct. 2019

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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Time Traveler for engender

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

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Last Updated

18 Jan 2020

Cite this Entry

“Engender.” The Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/engender. Accessed 18 January 2020.

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More Definitions for engender


How to pronounce engender (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of engender

formal : to be the source or cause of (something)

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Comments on engender

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experienced by way of someone else

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