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

Pohlman notes that the Agalliu Lab of Neuroscience at Columbia University received $2 million from the NIH to research the genesis of how strep is igniting the immune system and brain. Erin Quinn-kong, Good Housekeeping, "Their Son Tested Positive for Strep Throat. Then Came the Severe OCD, Anxiety, and Hallucinations.," 2 Jan. 2019 Manuel discussed the genesis of the character's inclusion in the show after the performance. Julie Kosin, Harper's BAZAAR, "Prince Harry Just Pretended to Be King George III from Hamilton and I’m Screaming," 30 Aug. 2018 Neighbors had pushed back on the idea since its genesis in 2014. Rachel Swan,, "Bicyclists protest as city plans for safer lanes hit bumps," 13 July 2018 The debate was part of the genesis that led to the protest last summer in Charlottesville after city leaders decided to remove a statue of Robert E. Lee from a community park. Christal Hayes, USA TODAY, "Virginia school's namesake changes from Confederate leader to Barack Obama," 19 June 2018 That’s sort of what led to the genesis of the book. Eric Johnson, Recode, "Startup advisor Elad Gil is worried that we’re losing our ability to be optimistic about tech," 20 Aug. 2018 Since its genesis in 2001, the brand has expanded to live music, merchandise, and brand partnerships. Aditi Shrikant, Vox, "Kidz Bop’s “censored” songs aren’t just annoying — they’re problematic," 3 Oct. 2018 Teen Vogue: What was the genesis behind creating your own fashion line? Shammara Lawrence, Teen Vogue, "Serena Williams' Clothing Line Will Soon Offer Extended Sizes," 24 Aug. 2018 However high-minded the contents, the genesis of the collection was practical. New York Times, "A Personal Gallery of Social Justice," 6 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

15 Jan 2019

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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