noun (1)
gen·​e·​sis | \ ˈje-nə-səs How to pronounce genesis (audio) \
plural geneses\ ˈje-​nə-​ˌsēz How to pronounce geneses (audio) \

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 This has the effect of turning the corals bone-white, which is the genesis of the phenomenon’s name: coral bleaching. Alex Fox, Smithsonian Magazine, "Climate Change Has Killed Half of the Great Barrier Reef’s Corals," 15 Oct. 2020 That was the genesis of FC Cincinnati's third acquisition of the current transfer window, as FC Cincinnati head coach Jaap Stam explained during his Tuesday news conference ahead of Wednesday's match against Columbus Crew SC. Pat Brennan, The Enquirer, "FC Cincinnati notebook: Jaap Stam discusses the Franko Kovačević transfer," 13 Oct. 2020 But the genesis of genes is only one of the mysteries that origin-of-life theories must reckon with. Quanta Magazine, "New Clues to Chemical Origins of Metabolism at Dawn of Life," 12 Oct. 2020 Although the origins of dark academia remain unclear, its genesis appears to be a heady mixture of a few key cultural works. Amal Abdi,, "Meet Dark Academia, The Bookish Fashion Trend That’s All Over TikTok," 7 Oct. 2020 Federal officials declined to talk about the case, or answer specific questions about the genesis of the Perez organization investigation, which the complaint says began in 2018. Bruce Vielmetti, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Feds: South side drug ring branched out to counterfeit marijuana vape cartridges," 2 Oct. 2020 Seeing that new landscape, according to Edwards, was the genesis of what would soon become her life as a professional traveler. Tanner Saunders, Travel + Leisure, "How Kellee Edwards Is Redefining Travel As a Black Female Pilot and Journalist, Episode 13 of of Travel + Leisure’s New Podcast," 30 Sep. 2020 The genesis of the club lies in a 2001 Goldman Sachs report that argued that Brazil, Russia, India and China represented the growing heft of emerging markets in the global economy. Sadanand Dhume, WSJ, "This Group of Nations Is a Few Brics Short of a Load," 17 Sep. 2020 The genesis of this circulation, in fact, could be traced further west, to near Potomac, Md., where a tornado warning was issued, but no twister confirmed. Washington Post, "The evolution of a damaging tornado that struck Edgewater, Md., near Annapolis, Thursday evening," 4 Sep. 2020

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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Time Traveler for genesis

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for genesis

Last Updated

23 Oct 2020

Cite this Entry

“Genesis.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 26 Oct. 2020.

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More Definitions for genesis


How to pronounce Genesis (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of genesis

somewhat formal : the beginning of something


gen·​e·​sis | \ ˈjen-ə-səs How to pronounce genesis (audio) \
plural geneses\ -​ˌsēz How to pronounce geneses (audio) \

Medical Definition of genesis

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

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