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 With their long, Dale Chihuly-ish tendrils, the plants of the genus Tillandsia make a lovely, if peculiar, addition to a shelf of trinkets. Crispin Long, The New Yorker, "The Alien Minimalism of Air Plants," 18 Dec. 2019 The Australian honey, the New Zealanders argue, comes not only from that bush but also from dozens of other species in the same genus. BostonGlobe.com, "PAENGAROA, New Zealand — Australia and New Zealand are at war.," 3 Nov. 2019 The Australian honey, the New Zealanders argue, comes not only from that bush but also from dozens of other species in the same genus. Jamie Tarabay, New York Times, "What Could Come Between These Two Allies? A $100 Jar of Honey," 2 Nov. 2019 Since 1992, scientists have identified females from at least two other ants, both assigned to the genus Solenopsis, that use their mouths to clamp onto the waists of queens from other, bigger species. Katherine J. Wu, Smithsonian, "Texan ‘Rodeo Ants’ Ride on the Backs of Bigger Ants," 16 Dec. 2019 Another plant in the same genus, trailing juniper (Juniperus procumbens), which grows sideways rather than up and is sometimes planted as a ground cover, rarely rises more than a foot from the ground. Beth Botts, chicagotribune.com, "A perennial plant whose wood stems are wrapped in bark is a ...," 5 Nov. 2019 When the genus Legionella is detected at elevated levels, above 100 colony-forming units, additional treatment and maintenance is warranted, the school system said. Jess Nocera, baltimoresun.com, "10 Howard schools test positive for bacteria Legionella, results show," 18 Oct. 2019 So, might some species belonging to this ancient genus still be lurking in the deep, like the elusive frilled shark? Tim Vernimmen, National Geographic, "Amazing fossil shark skeleton is the first of its kind," 1 Oct. 2019 For the record, red yuccas are not true yuccas, but in the genus Hesperaloe. Neil Sperry, ExpressNews.com, "Autumn sage salvia blooms best after extensive pruning, just like bush roses," 12 Dec. 2019

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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Time Traveler for genus

Time Traveler

The first known use of genus was in 1551

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Statistics for genus

Last Updated

20 Jan 2020

Cite this Entry

“Genus.” The Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/genus. Accessed 25 January 2020.

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More Definitions for genus

genus

noun
How to pronounce genus (audio) How to pronounce genus (audio)

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

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for genus

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with 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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