Definition of engender
- policies that have engendered controversy
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The issue has engendered a considerable amount of debate.
a suggestion to go out for pizza that didn't seem to engender any interest
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.
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.
: to be the source or cause of (something)
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