gen·​u·​ine ˈjen-yə-wən How to pronounce genuine (audio)
-ˌwīn How to pronounce genuine (audio)
: actually having the reputed or apparent qualities or character
genuine vintage wines
: actually produced by or proceeding from the alleged source or author
the signature is genuine
: sincerely and honestly felt or experienced
a deep and genuine love
: actual, true
a genuine improvement
: free from hypocrisy or pretense : sincere
His apology seemed genuine.
genuineness noun
How do you pronounce genuine?: Usage Guide

The objection which some commentators make to the pronunciation \ˈjen-yə-ˌwīn\ is perhaps occasioned by the fact that it is more frequent among those with less schooling. However, this variant is heard in the speech of cultured or highly educated speakers sufficiently frequently for it to be recognized as a widespread pronunciation at all social levels. This variant was recorded as early as 1890 and appears to be simply a long-standing spelling pronunciation.

Did you know?

Is genuineness the noun form of genuine?

Many people appear to look up the adjective genuine in this dictionary in an attempt to discover the noun form of the word. The closest the English language comes is the rather unwieldy genuineness, meaning “the quality or state of being genuine.” Some possible alternatives to genuineness include sincerity, honesty, integrity, and truthfulness.

Choose the Right Synonym for genuine

authentic, genuine, bona fide mean being actually and exactly what is claimed.

authentic implies being fully trustworthy as according with fact

an authentic account of the perilous journey

; it can also stress painstaking or faithful imitation of an original.

an authentic reproduction
authentic Vietnamese cuisine

genuine implies actual character not counterfeited, imitated, or adulterated

genuine piety
genuine maple syrup

; it also connotes definite origin from a source.

a genuine Mark Twain autograph

bona fide implies good faith and sincerity of intention.

a bona fide offer for the stock

Example Sentences

But whatever else he is, he is the genuine article. A writer of one terrible book after another, but a writer nonetheless. Dale Peck, New Republic, 1 July 2002 Having had two brothers, a sister and a brother-in-law die violently, he acquired a genuine identification with suffering, particularly that of what has come to be called the underclass. George F. Will, New York Times Book Review, 24 May 1998 Like a poem, a genuine essay is made of language and character and mood and temperament and pluck and chance. Cynthia Ozick, Atlantic, September 1998 There has been a genuine improvement in the economy in recent months. She showed a genuine interest in our work. He has always shown a genuine concern for poor people. a genuine desire to help others She seems to be a very genuine person. See More
Recent Examples on the Web The toys may not be genuine, the report said, and may not meet safety standards for parts that can break or levels of toxins, which are common in plastic toys. Parija Kavilanz, CNN, 17 Nov. 2022 Adana used to work in cybersecurity and oversaw all the technical aspects of the show, ensuring that the hacks, codes, and tools were all genuine. Robert Anderson, PCMAG, 9 Nov. 2022 Such is the mistrust in the political system that some even question whether the attempt on Mr. Khan’s life was genuine. Hasan Ali, The Christian Science Monitor, 4 Nov. 2022 Each was genuine and contained the four winning numbers—7-8-0-0—drawn on June 18. Jeff Maysh, The Atlantic, 17 Oct. 2022 Her hatred was genuine, and Evelyn’s anger quickly turned into something approximating awe. Marisa Silver, The New Yorker, 17 Oct. 2022 But the question lingers whether that repentance was genuine. Jordan Moreau, Variety, 13 Oct. 2022 Lexington Market was — and is — a genuine gathering spot. Jacques Kelly, Baltimore Sun, 1 Nov. 2022 Since then, Oregon has developed into the best team in the Pac-12 and a genuine playoff threat. Paul Myerberg, USA TODAY, 1 Nov. 2022 See More

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'genuine.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

Word History


Latin genuinus innate, genuine; akin to Latin gignere to beget — more at kin

First Known Use

circa 1639, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

Time Traveler
The first known use of genuine was circa 1639

Dictionary Entries Near genuine

Cite this Entry

“Genuine.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 26 Nov. 2022.

Kids Definition



gen·​u·​ine ˈjen-yə-wən How to pronounce genuine (audio) -(ˌ)win How to pronounce genuine (audio)
: being actually what it seems to be : real
genuine gold
: not pretended : sincere, honest
a genuine interest
genuinely adverb
genuineness noun

Legal Definition



: actually having the reputed or apparent qualities or character
specifically : free of forgery or counterfeiting see also genuine issue at issue
genuinely adverb
genuineness noun

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