noun (1)
gen·​e·​sis | \ˈje-nə-səs \
plural geneses\ ˈje-​nə-​ˌsēz \

Definition of genesis 

(Entry 1 of 2)

: the origin or coming into being of something the genesis of a new political movement


noun (2)

Definition of Genesis (Entry 2 of 2)

: the mainly narrative first book of canonical Jewish and Christian Scriptures — see Bible Table

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Did You Know?

The traditional Greek name for the first and best-known book of the Bible is Genesis, meaning "origin". Genesis tells the stories of the creation, Adam and Eve, Cain and Abel, Noah's ark, the Tower of Babel, Abraham and his sons, and more—the stories that explain how the world and humanity were created, as well as much about how humanity, and especially the descendants of Abraham, relate to the rest of the world. Today we use genesis to refer to the creative beginnings of much smaller things, but never unimportant ones.

Examples of genesis in a Sentence

Noun (1)

a book about the genesis of the civil rights movement was present at the meeting which was later considered the genesis of the new political movement

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Either way, the genesis of such a counterintelligence [operation] would have been scrutinized by the highest levels of the FBI and the Justice Department. Chris Cillizza, CNN, "What Donald Trump doesn't know about how informants work is a lot," 21 May 2018 This Belgium team is not a uniquely Belgian creation: Its genesis is European. Rory Smith, New York Times, "Belgium’s Blueprint, Croatia’s Chaos, and the Murky Path to World Cup Glory," 10 July 2018 Since its genesis, the account has become the primary source for decoding Supreme’s weekly drops, providing commentary alongside diptychs. Steff Yotka, Vogue, "You Won’t Find America's Menswear Designer of the Year at NYFW Men’s," 9 July 2018 Its genesis predates even the concept of the commercial export Alaska LNG Project being pursued by Gov. Bill Walker's administration with support from BP. Author: Elwood Brehmer, Anchorage Daily News, "Army Corps releases final EIS for in-state Alaska gasline," 24 June 2018 Mike Lovell told the meeting that its genesis has been organic, meeting regularly in big groups and smaller subcommittees. John Schmid, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Marquette trying to form massive coalition in effort to treat community's trauma," 7 June 2018 But the genesis of these songs sparked to life four years ago, with the romantic parting of Gutierrez and Swann. Joey Guerra, Houston Chronicle, "Houston’s Wild Moccasins learn to love again on new album," 3 July 2018 Read more The company’s genesis traces back to an entrepreneurship competition at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, when Mr. Parker was in pharmacy school. Sharon Terlep, WSJ, "Behind PillPack’s $1 Billion Sale, a Frustrated 32-Year-Old Pharmacist," 28 June 2018 But the genesis of Peshkin’s interest in longevity goes back 43 years, to the streets of Moscow. Karen Weintraub,, "A doctor wages personal and professional battles against aging," 23 June 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'genesis.' 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 genesis

Noun (1)

circa 1604, in the meaning defined above

Noun (2)

before the 12th century, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for genesis

Noun (1)

Latin, from Greek, from gignesthai to be born — more at kin

Noun (2)


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Statistics for genesis

Last Updated

5 Nov 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for genesis

The first known use of genesis was before the 12th century

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More Definitions for genesis



English Language Learners Definition of genesis

: the beginning of something


gen·​e·​sis | \ˈjen-ə-səs \
plural geneses\ -​ˌsēz \

Medical Definition of genesis 

: the origin or coming into being of something : the process or mode of origin

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Comments on genesis

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


playful or foolish behavior

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