genealogy

noun
ge·ne·al·o·gy | \ˌjē-nē-ˈä-lə-jē also -ˈa-lə- also ˌje-nē- \
plural genealogies

Definition of genealogy 

1 : an account of the descent of a person, family, or group from an ancestor or from older forms

2 : regular descent of a person, family, or group of organisms from a progenitor (see progenitor sense 1) or older form : pedigree

3 : the study of family ancestral lines

4 : an account of the origin and historical development of something

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from genealogy

genealogical \ˌjē-nē-ə-ˈlä-ji-kəl, ˌje-nē- \ adjective
genealogically \ˌjē-nē-ə-ˈlä-ji-k(ə-)lē, ˌje-nē- \ adverb

Examples of genealogy in a Sentence

They've been researching their genealogies. has a distinguished genealogy that traces back to William the Conqueror

Recent Examples on the Web

Late last year, law enforcement officials had uploaded the suspect’s DNA profile, culled from the scene of a 1980 double murder in Ventura County, to a website dedicated to genealogy. Dan Barry, Tim Arango And Richard A. Oppel Jr., New York Times, "With Taunts and Guile, the Golden State Killer Left a Trail of Horror," 28 Apr. 2018 Late last year, law enforcement officials had uploaded the suspect's DNA profile, culled from the scene of a 1980 double murder in Ventura County, to a website dedicated to genealogy. Anchorage Daily News, "With taunts and guile, the Golden State Killer left a trail of horror," 28 Apr. 2018 Late last year, law enforcement officials had uploaded the suspect’s DNA profile, culled from the scene of a 1980 double murder in Ventura County, to a website dedicated to genealogy. Dan Barry, BostonGlobe.com, "With taunts and guile, the Golden State killer left a trail of horror," 28 Apr. 2018 The identity of the Golden State Killer was discovered using a genealogy database, investigators said. John Herrman, New York Times, "Is a Dumber Phone a Better Phone?," 16 May 2018 Investigators cracked the case by feeding the killer's DNA into GEDmatch, a genealogy database, which linked the DNA to distant relatives. Justin Jouvenal, chicagotribune.com, "Golden State Killer suspect charged with four more murders," 11 May 2018 DeAngelo was arrested April 24 at his home after Sacramento investigators matched crime-scene DNA with genetic material from a distant relative in a public online genealogy database. Crimesider Staff, CBS News, ""Golden State Killer" suspect Joseph DeAngelo charged with 4 more decades-old murders," 10 May 2018 Investigators pinpointed DeAngelo after testing DNA preserved from decades-old crime scenes against online genealogy databases. Robert Hackett, Fortune, "Cyber Saturday—Why I Refuse DNA Testing," 28 Apr. 2018 Over the years, investigators compared the DNA to profiles on one or more undisclosed genealogy databases. Dan Goodin, Ars Technica, "Genealogy websites identify rape suspect who eluded police for 40 years," 27 Apr. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'genealogy.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

See More

First Known Use of genealogy

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for genealogy

Middle English genealogie, from Anglo-French, from Late Latin genealogia, from Greek, from genea race, family + -logia -logy; akin to Greek genos race

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about genealogy

Statistics for genealogy

Last Updated

5 Oct 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for genealogy

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

See more words from the same century

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for genealogy

genealogy

noun

English Language Learners Definition of genealogy

: the study of family history

: the history of a particular family showing how the different members of the family are related to each other

genealogy

noun
ge·ne·al·o·gy | \ˌjē-nē-ˈä-lə-jē \
plural genealogies

Kids Definition of genealogy

1 : a line of ancestors of a person or family or a history of such a line of ancestors

2 : the study of family lines of ancestors

Keep scrolling for more

Comments on genealogy

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

WORD OF THE DAY

required by fashion, etiquette, or custom

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Great Scrabble Words—A Quiz

  • scrabble-tiles-that-read-scrabble-quiz
  • Which of the following Q-without-U words means the number five in cards or dice?
True or False

Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Word Winder's CrossWinder

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!