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

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 This genus of shrubs and vines have huge leaves with deep lobes and fascinating fenestrations, or holes, in them. Dean Kuipers, Outside Online, 15 Apr. 2022 The tinned seafood genus has also been a surprising and rewarding category. Maggie Lange, Bon Appétit, 26 Apr. 2022 The biggest specimen researchers collected was 5.1 inches in diameter, one of the largest in the genus. Sarah Parvinistaff Writer, Los Angeles Times, 25 Apr. 2022 Researchers in northeastern England unearthed an exoskeleton fragment from the largest arthropod ever discovered, in a genus called Arthropleura. Nikk Ogasa, Scientific American, 23 Feb. 2022 Plants in this genus may require above average maintenance to keep fire-wise. oregonlive, 31 Mar. 2022 As the name implies, a defining characteristic of this genus is the ability to oxidize organic carbon sources like sucrose, glucose, and ethanol into acetic acid, which is known for its antimicrobial properties. Jennifer Ouellette, Ars Technica, 24 Jan. 2022 This group of leafy vegetables is named for their genus, Cichorium, and is known for a bitterness that can range from mild to assertive. Washington Post, 20 Mar. 2022 To investigate how lichens were adapting to a warming planet, Nelsen and his colleagues at the Field Museum in Chicago focused on a single genus of algae, Trebouxia, which is found in about 7,000 species of lichen. Corryn Wetzel, Smithsonian Magazine, 17 Feb. 2022 See More

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.

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

Learn More About genus

Dictionary Entries Near genus

genuinely

genus

Gen X

See More Nearby Entries 

Statistics for genus

Last Updated

12 May 2022

Cite this Entry

“Genus.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/genus. Accessed 21 May. 2022.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon

More Definitions for genus

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

More from Merriam-Webster on genus

Nglish: Translation of genus for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of genus for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about genus

WORD OF THE DAY

Test Your Vocabulary

Which Word Does Not Belong?

  • one green toy robot amidst many red toy robots
  • Which of these words does not mean "nonsense"?
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

TAKE THE QUIZ
Universal Daily Crossword

A daily challenge for crossword fanatics.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!