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

Gathering in nontraditional and nondedicated places of worship can actually engender more engagement and energy in a religious community; the people that participate do so because of the community and the relationships, not because of the building. WSJ, "Churchlessness Can Help New Congregations," 8 Feb. 2019 His obsession with the Revolution began at age 5, with a school assignment on national monuments, which inspired a family trip to D.C., which likewise engendered in young Oliver a newfound love of George Washington. Mike Newall, Philly.com, "Touring the Revolution Museum with its biggest fan: 7-year-old Oliver | Mike Newall," 13 Apr. 2018 As an increasingly powerful far right urges a return to the nationstate as a way of governing—and also of being—few in Europe today seem to remember the catastrophes that creeds of exclusion can engender. James Mcauley, Town & Country, "A Secret Paris Museum and an Aristocratic Family Decimated by the Holocaust," 9 Feb. 2017 Still, October is a long way off and engendering confidence that anyone in the rotation beyond ace Luis Severino can regularly deliver command performances is a shaky proposition. New York Times, "Cole Hamels Advertises Himself to the Yankees by Beating Them," 23 May 2018 What vision of eventual success first engendered the policy of putting children into cage-like facilities and now has the administration picking a fight with federal courts? Evan Horowitz, BostonGlobe.com, "Families will be kept together — in detention. What does Trump hope to gain?," 20 June 2018 Chinese leaders see those religions as foreign to China and want to eradicate symbols and practices that engender among believers a sense of having an identity separate from their duties as Chinese citizens. Chun Han Wong, WSJ, "China Applies Xinjiang’s Policing Lessons to Other Muslim Areas," 23 Dec. 2018 The Smart Cities ideal—at least, under non-authoritarian regimes—is to use all that data to provide services better and more efficiently, not to engender urban dystopia. Dan Rosenbaum, Ars Technica, "All hail the AI overlord: Smart cities and the AI Internet of Things," 7 Dec. 2018 The economy king, however, is the also new-for-2018 1.6-liter turbodiesel, a rarity in the compact crossover segment that engenders EPAs of 28 and 39 in a front-drive setting. Al Haas, Philly.com, "Redesigned GMC Terrain Denali offers style, space, agility | Al Haas," 10 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

10 May 2019

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

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English Language Learners Definition of engender

formal : 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).


to move with exaggerated bouncy motions

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