genus

noun
ge·​nus | \ ˈjē-nəs How to pronounce genus (audio) , ˈje- How to pronounce genus (audio) \
plural genera\ ˈje-​nə-​rə How to pronounce genera (audio) \ also genuses

Definition of genus

1 : a class, kind, or group marked by common characteristics or by one common characteristic specifically : a category of biological classification ranking between the family and the species, comprising structurally or phylogenetically (see phylogenetic sense 2) related species or an isolated species exhibiting unusual differentiation, and being designated by a Latin or latinized capitalized singular noun
2 : a class of objects divided into several subordinate species

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Examples of genus in a Sentence

the crime novel, written from the criminal's perspective, is sometimes seen as a particular species of the detective story genus

Recent Examples on the Web

Which genus of Bannon emerges from this septic tank of self-reinvention? Corey Seymour, Vogue, "I Watched the New Steve Bannon Documentary, The Brink, So You Don’t Have To," 27 Mar. 2019 Meanwhile, the horseshoe crab genus Xiphosura has barely evolved over thousands of years, with a mere four species to its name. David Grossman, Popular Mechanics, "Study: Horseshoe Crabs Really Are Arachnids, Just Like Spiders," 28 Feb. 2019 Whale sharks, the largest of the genus, can reach up to 33 feet. Chris Ciaccia, Fox News, "World's second-largest shark can jump just as high and as fast as great whites," 24 Sep. 2018 That’s a type of chicory, a member of an entirely different genus. Rebekah Denn, The Seattle Times, "In defense of the dandelion," 9 Oct. 2018 In doing so, the monkeys became the first of their genus and the fourth of all nonhuman primates to enter the Stone Age, so to speak. Meilan Solly, Smithsonian, "Did the Human Hand Evolve as a Lean Mean Bone-Smashing Machine?," 13 July 2018 In many American homes, water is treated with chlorine and chloramine, which kill pathogens but not mycobacteria, a genus that includes the cause of tuberculosis. Lisa Margonelli, WSJ, "‘Never Home Alone’ Review: The Critters Chez Nous," 28 Nov. 2018 The differences are enough to declare the animal a previously unknown genus and species of gibbon, dubbed Junzi imperialis. Jason Daley, Smithsonian, "Extinct Gibbon Species Discovered in 2,000-Year-Old Chinese Tomb," 23 June 2018 The most likely bet is H. erectus, an archaic human species that first evolved nearly 2 million years ago and may have been the first member of our genus to expand out of Africa, the team writes today in Nature. Lizzie Wade, Science | AAAS, "Ancient humans settled the Philippines 700,000 years ago," 2 May 2018

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

1551, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for genus

Latin gener-, genus birth, race, kind — more at kin

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Dictionary Entries near genus

genuflectory

genuine

genuinely

genus

Gen X

-geny

Gen Y

Statistics for genus

Last Updated

14 Apr 2019

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Time Traveler for genus

The first known use of genus was in 1551

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More Definitions for genus

genus

noun

English Language Learners Definition of genus

biology : a group of related animals or plants that includes several or many different species

genus

noun
ge·​nus | \ ˈjē-nəs How to pronounce genus (audio) \
plural genera\ ˈje-​nə-​rə \

Kids Definition of genus

: a group of related living things (as plants or animals) that ranks below the family in scientific classification and is made up of one or more species

genus

noun
ge·​nus | \ ˈjē-nəs How to pronounce genus (audio) , ˈjen-əs How to pronounce genus (audio) \
plural genera\ ˈjen-​ə-​rə How to pronounce genera (audio) \

Medical Definition of genus

: a class, kind, or group marked by common characteristics or by one common characteristic specifically : a category of biological classification ranking between the family and the species, comprising structurally or phylogenetically related species or an isolated species exhibiting unusual differentiation, and designated by a Latin or latinized capitalized singular noun

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More from Merriam-Webster on genus

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with genus

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for genus

Spanish Central: Translation of genus

Nglish: Translation of genus for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of genus for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about genus

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