ge·​net·​ic | \ jə-ˈne-tik How to pronounce genetic (audio) \
variants: or less commonly genetical \ jə-​ˈne-​ti-​kəl How to pronounce genetical (audio) \

Definition of genetic

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : relating to or determined by the origin, development, or causal antecedents of something
2a : of, relating to, or involving genetics
b : of, relating to, caused by, or controlled by genes a genetic disease genetic variation

Definition of -genetic (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : -genic sense 1 organogenetic
2 : -genic sense 2 psychogenetic

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Other Words from genetic


genetically \ jə-​ˈne-​ti-​k(ə-​)lē How to pronounce genetically (audio) \ adverb

Synonyms & Antonyms for genetic

Synonyms: Adjective

Antonyms: Adjective

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Examples of genetic in a Sentence

Adjective hemophilia and other genetic medical disorders
Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective The samples were tested for genetic material from BoDV-1, which the researchers verified by additional testing for antibodies to it. Tanya Lewis, Scientific American, "Virus Spread by Shrews Linked to Human Deaths from Mysterious Brain Infections," 8 Jan. 2020 As a result, its genetic material is coveted by scientists, biotechnology companies and research institutes globally. Keymanthri Moodley, Quartz Africa, "Africa’s genetic material is still being misused," 23 Dec. 2019 This marks the first time human genetic material has successfully been extracted from something besides human bones. Ashley Strickland, CNN, "Exoplanets, black holes, human ancestors and new dinosaurs: The 2010s were stellar for space and science discoveries," 20 Dec. 2019 Drugs based on RNA interference use strands of genetic material that can bind to genes and shut them down. Kate Sheridan, STAT, "Alnylam chalks up another win with phase 3 trial of a liver-disease drug," 17 Dec. 2019 But the discovery of ADAM, genetic material that could be used to alter a person’s DNA and grant them superhuman abilities like telekinesis and pyrokinesis, devolved this dream into a nightmare. Nick Romano,, "Shocker! BioShock 4 announced through 2K Games' new studio," 9 Dec. 2019 The images released Wednesday use the suspect’s genetic material to construct facial images that approximate what the suspect may have looked like at ages 25, 40 and 55. Justin Jouvenal, Washington Post, "Police use DNA to create composite of suspect in 2006 killings in Fairfax County," 5 Dec. 2019 The boys were at the age when their sperm cells — the vessels that would transmit their genetic material — were forming. Judith Finlayson,, "Men’s lifestyles can affect babies’ health," 27 Nov. 2019 This discovery is not evidence of the wonderful but outlandish theory of panspermia, which posits that actual living things or genetic material came to Earth from somewhere else in space. Caroline Delbert, Popular Mechanics, "Did Hitchhiking Sugars on Asteroids Help Jumpstart Life on Earth?," 19 Nov. 2019

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


1750, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for genetic



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Time Traveler for genetic

Time Traveler

The first known use of genetic was in 1750

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Statistics for genetic

Last Updated

18 Jan 2020

Cite this Entry

“Genetic.” The Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., Accessed 21 January 2020.

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More Definitions for genetic


How to pronounce -genetic (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of genetic

: of, relating to, or involving genes


ge·​net·​ic | \ jə-ˈne-tik How to pronounce genetic (audio) \

Kids Definition of genetic

: of or relating to genes or genetics genetic research


ge·​net·​ic | \ jə-ˈnet-ik How to pronounce genetic (audio) \
variants: also genetical \ -​i-​kəl How to pronounce genetical (audio) \

Medical Definition of genetic

1 : of, relating to, or involving genetics
2 : of, relating to, caused by, or controlled by genes a genetic disease genetic material — compare acquired sense 1

Other Words from genetic

genetically \ -​i-​k(ə-​)lē How to pronounce genetically (audio) \ adverb

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More from Merriam-Webster on genetic

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for genetic

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with genetic

Spanish Central: Translation of genetic

Nglish: Translation of genetic for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of genetic for Arabic Speakers

Comments on genetic

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good-natured easy friendliness

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