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

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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 There can be a fair bit of overlap: after all, the most popular stories can engender a lot of heated discussion and strong opinions. Eric Bangeman, Ars Technica, "2020’s 20 most-commented stories," 25 Dec. 2020 And the flag-waving of pro-Brexit lawmakers was doing little to engender public trust in vaccines, scientists said. Benjamin Mueller, New York Times, "U.K. and U.S. Officials Spar Over ‘Vaccine Nationalism’," 3 Dec. 2020 Of all the holiday comestibles, none engender more passion than frosted sugar cookies in festive holiday shapes. Rex Huppke, chicagotribune.com, "Column: The BEST Christmas cookie recipe in the world. And some thoughts on frosting, which is all that matters.," 27 Nov. 2020 But even that would engender heavy scrutiny by Republicans, who are wary of providing funding to a government long listed by the U.S. as a state sponsor of terrorism. David Wainer, Bloomberg.com, "Biden’s Path Back to Iran Nuclear Deal Won’t Be Easy or Fast," 12 Nov. 2020 The opposition party will end its term out of the White House without having done much to engender sustained opposition to the GOP. Osita Nwanevu, The New Republic, "The Democrats’ Maddening Cowardice Is Carrying Over into the Biden Era," 25 Nov. 2020 Over a dozen years, The News has helped shape Dallas-Fort Worth into an enviable employment landscape where companies treat their employees with respect, give them sound leadership, engender a sense of mission and make work fun instead of drudgery. Cheryl Hall, Dallas News, "Cheryl Hall: This was a Top 100 Places to Work contest to remember," 12 Nov. 2020 When everything is good, those words can engender cynical eye roll. Jeff Metcalfe, The Arizona Republic, "LIVE UPDATES: ASU football opens season at No. 20 USC," 7 Nov. 2020 They have been invented by scientists who speak in jargon that many people don’t understand, are sold by drug companies that engender little faith and are pushed by governments that people trust even less. Jenny Anderson, New York Times, "She Hunts Viral Rumors About Real Viruses," 13 Oct. 2020

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

12 Jan 2021

Cite this Entry

“Engender.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/engender. Accessed 15 Jan. 2021.

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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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