ge·​ne·​al·​o·​gy | \ ˌjē-nē-ˈä-lə-jē How to pronounce genealogy (audio) also -ˈa-lə- How to pronounce genealogy (audio) 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

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Other Words from genealogy

genealogical \ ˌjē-​nē-​ə-​ˈlä-​ji-​kəl How to pronounce genealogy (audio) , ˌje-​nē-​ \ adjective
genealogically \ ˌjē-​nē-​ə-​ˈlä-​ji-​k(ə-​)lē How to pronounce genealogy (audio) , 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 Classes include exercise, history, genealogy, language, book discussion and yoga. Staff Reports,, "NOPD 4th District supervisors honored, and more metro community news," 13 Jan. 2021 For now, Vance said Oregon is relying on a $400,000 federal grant to cover the costs of detailed DNA and genealogy analysis by private labs. oregonlive, "‘We are throwing everything at it’: Genetic genealogy may help ID girl found off Oregon highway," 13 Jan. 2021 The cheerleaders of Popular, especially Mary Cherry, began a genealogy of Murphy characters who either idolize, or actually are, Gwyneth Paltrow—the foils for a menagerie of misfits who are obsessed with them. Jackson Mchenry, Vulture, "With a big Netflix deal and the power to green-light almost anything, Ryan Murphy has become the ultimate insider. And his work is suffering.," 4 Jan. 2021 Sheree Budge, reference librarian in the local history and genealogy section, said these letters provide a record of family histories and help researchers interpret moments in time through the eyes of individuals. Priscella Vega, Los Angeles Times, "In the year of the coronavirus, families across the U.S. reflect on the bright spots," 24 Dec. 2020 Using cutting-edge investigative genetic genealogy, (IGG), investigators tracked down a list of the perpetrator's potential relatives were able to narrow in on Waller as the suspect. Kelly Murray, CNN, "'NorCal' rapist Roy Waller sentenced to 897 years," 18 Dec. 2020 Investigators used genetic genealogy to link Byrd to the March 1998 incident, police said. Fox News, "Florida man arrested in 1998 kidnapping, rape after DNA on cigarette links him to case: police," 14 Dec. 2020 Plenty of people research their genealogy, or undertake local history projects. Jennifer Schuessler,, "Uncovering lost Black history, stone by stone," 26 Dec. 2020 Currently, no states restrict police use of genetic genealogy. Megan Molteni, Wired, "Cops Are Getting a New Tool For Family-Tree Sleuthing," 16 Dec. 2020

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.

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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

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Time Traveler for genealogy

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for genealogy

Last Updated

24 Jan 2021

Cite this Entry

“Genealogy.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 26 Jan. 2021.

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More Definitions for genealogy


How to pronounce genealogy (audio) How to pronounce genealogy (audio)

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


ge·​ne·​al·​o·​gy | \ ˌjē-nē-ˈä-lə-jē How to pronounce genealogy (audio) \
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

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