genealogy

noun
ge·​ne·​al·​o·​gy | \ ˌjē-nē-ˈä-lə-jē How to pronounce genealogy (audio) also -ˈa-lə- also ˌje-nē- How to pronounce genealogy (audio) \
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 How to pronounce genealogical (audio) , ˌje-​nē-​ \ adjective
genealogically \ ˌjē-​nē-​ə-​ˈlä-​ji-​k(ə-​)lē How to pronounce genealogically (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

Interest in Pilgrim genealogy is surging with the 400th anniversary of the Mayflower's 1620 arrival in the New World fast approaching. Doyle Rice, USA TODAY, "Was one of your ancestors on the Mayflower? You can find out now," 13 June 2018 The researchers used the patterns to draw a sort of genealogy, linking each neuron first to its close cousins and then its more distant relatives. New York Times, "Every Cell in Your Body Has the Same DNA. Except It Doesn’t.," 21 May 2018 Surprisingly, often the work of genealogy involves unearthing information that was carefully buried. The Root, "Tracing Your Roots: Why Did My Family Bury the Past?," 6 Apr. 2018 Family genealogy site Ancestry likes this pick as a way to honor the Queen, who goes by the nickname Lilibet amongst family. Caroline Picard, Good Housekeeping, "All of the Royal Baby Names Meghan Markle and Prince Harry Might Choose," 22 Mar. 2019 This screen forms the basis of personal DNA testing and genealogy services. John Timmer, Ars Technica, "Chances DNA can be used to find your family? Sixty percent and rising," 11 Oct. 2018 Although his specific place in the genealogy of black liberation theology is debatable, Cone is unquestionably its 20th-century systematizer and as such, is noted as the father of liberation theology. Eboni Marshall Turman, The Root, "‘If God Is White, Kill God’: Why Dr. James Cone Was Once the Most Hated Theologian in America," 7 May 2018 Amid the family separation crisis at the U.S. border, some concerned observers have floated an idea: Could direct-to-consumer genealogy companies offer free genetic testing to reunite children with their parents? Rebecca Robbins, STAT, "Could genetic testing help reunite separated immigrant families? It’s complicated," 21 June 2018 Aware that their millions of customers don’t necessarily want to inform on their relatives, some genealogy companies actively resist handing over data to police, STAT wrote this week. Avi Selk, Washington Post, "The ingenious and ‘dystopian’ DNA technique police used to hunt the Golden State Killer," 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

1 Jun 2019

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 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

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

to take the place or position of

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Words for Summer: A Quiz

  • a closeup of a sunflower
  • Which of the following words means “of or relating to summer”?
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!