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 genus (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 The animals' stark divergence from gray wolves, researchers believe, places them in an entirely different genus. Amy Woodyatt, CNN, "Analysis of ancient DNA reveals details about the dire wolf, inspiration for 'Game of Thrones' creature," 14 Jan. 2021 Scientists have long classified dire wolves as Canis dirus, putting them in the same genus as gray wolves, coyotes, and dogs. David Grimm, Science | AAAS, "The legendary dire wolf may not have been a wolf at all," 13 Jan. 2021 Last seen in 1924, this Cuban flowing plant—the only member of its genus—has long been assumed lost. John R. Platt, Scientific American, "What We've Lost: The Species Declared Extinct in 2020," 13 Jan. 2021 An especially exciting aspect of this study for Weinell was the ability to name a new genus and a new species. Francesca Giuliani-hoffman, CNN, "Scientists discover a new species of snake hiding in plain sight," 26 Dec. 2020 Cryptanthus is a genus of plants found in the Bromeliad family (related to pineapples). Janet Carson, Arkansas Online, "Mystery plants for the first week of December," 8 Dec. 2020 As expected, corals that housed heat-sensitive algae bleached sooner than those that housed the heat-tolerant genus of algae. Erik Stokstad, Science | AAAS, "In surprising sign of resilience, some corals can survive long heat waves," 8 Dec. 2020 The most important are Daphnia—a genus that comprises some 100 freshwater species. Tim Folger, Environment, "This ferocious water flea is mauling the Great Lakes," 2 Dec. 2020 Horn’s branching Gorgonia 12, for instance, named for a genus of corals, is ornamented with blown glass orbs, Christmas tree-like in its contrivance yet still unmistakably bound to the deep, unknowable ocean. Ryan P. Smith, Smithsonian Magazine, "Where Nature and Artifice Collide," 4 Nov. 2020

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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Statistics for genus

Last Updated

17 Feb 2021

Cite this Entry

“Genus.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/genus. Accessed 27 Feb. 2021.

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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 genus (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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