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

But that comes with the caveat that engendering reader trust is sometimes about playing the long game. Eliza Brooke, Vox, "Sites like the Strategist, Wirecutter, and BuzzFeed Reviews want to help you find the best of the best.," 11 Dec. 2018 The ongoing design and name changes don't exactly engender our confidence in the project's stability, either. Eric Berger, Ars Technica, "What is going on with SpaceX and all these Big Falcon Rocket changes?," 20 Nov. 2018 Presumably, Vulcan would need to fly a couple of missions before becoming certified for a national security launch, but even so, 2023 for a third mission does not engender confidence about a maiden launch in 2020. Eric Berger, Ars Technica, "Four huge rockets are due to debut in 2020—will any make it?," 24 July 2018 The question has engendered sharply differing opinions, reminiscent of the battles over access to Lake Michigan water with Waukesha and, earlier, New Berlin. Lee Bergquist, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Does Foxconn's need for Lake Michigan water meet the test of the Great Lakes Compact?," 16 Apr. 2018 Zach LaVine’s four-year, $78 million offer sheet from the Kings, which the Bulls will match before Sunday night, seemed to engender approximately 78 million opinions about the guard’s value. K.c. Johnson, chicagotribune.com, "Rising salary cap makes Zach LaVine deal more palatable for Bulls than it appears," 7 July 2018 But if his goal is to engender trust in Facebook among increasingly hostile regulators, Tuesday's hearing, which left members feeling angry and betrayed, may have only backfired. Issie Lapowsky, WIRED, "Zuckerberg Ducks Pointed Questions From the EU Parliament," 22 May 2018 Whatever happens from here Russia 2018 exceeded all my expectations both on and off the pitch and hopefully the good feeling engendered between Russia and the rest of the world this past month will stick around a fair bit longer. SI.com, "90min World Cup Fan Diaries: From Russia With Love," 9 July 2018 And Flicker isn't the only one that hopes such discrimination -- engendered because the UAE has no diplomatic ties with Israel and doesn't recognize it as a state -- never occurs again. Henry Young, CNN, "Israeli judoka Tal Flicker: 'Sport should overcome all the politics'," 24 Apr. 2018

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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Last Updated

4 Jan 2019

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Time Traveler for engender

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

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English Language Learners Definition of engender

: to be the source or cause of (something)

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More from Merriam-Webster on engender

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with engender

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for engender

Spanish Central: Translation of engender

Nglish: Translation of engender for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of engender for Arabic Speakers

Comments on engender

What made you want to look up engender? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


a complex dispute or argument

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