prog·​e·​ny | \ ˈprä-jə-nē How to pronounce progeny (audio) \
plural progenies

Definition of progeny

b : offspring of animals or plants
3 : a body of followers, disciples, or successors

Keep scrolling for more

The Lineage of Progeny

Progeny is the progeny of the Latin verb progignere, meaning "to beget." That Latin word is itself an offspring of the prefix pro-, meaning "forth," and gignere, which can mean "to beget" or "to bring forth." Gignere has produced a large family of English descendants, including benign (meaning "mild" or "harmless"), congenital (meaning "inherent"), engine, genius, germ, indigenous, ingenuous, and malign. Gignere even paired up with pro- again to produce a close relative of progeny: the noun progenitor, which can mean "an ancestor in the direct line," "a biologically ancestral form," or "a precursor or originator."

Examples of progeny in a Sentence

Many Americans are the progeny of immigrants. The small plants are the progeny of an oak tree. Their work is the progeny of many earlier studies.
See More

Recent Examples on the Web

Jaden Smith for Arlo Guthrie One is the delightfully off-kilter progeny of an era-defining musical talent and cultural figure. Corbin Reiff, Billboard, "Recasting Woodstock's Original Lineup With 2019 Artists," 13 Aug. 2019 In the first episode, Logan summons all his progeny to a meeting at his Hamptons house, where topiary is duly uncovered, Egyptian-cotton sheets laundered, and lobsters boiled for the family’s return. Sophie Gilbert, The Atlantic, "Succession Is Better Than Ever," 11 Aug. 2019 In most cases, such slaves were the mixed-race progeny of their current or past owners. NBC News, "As McConnell's family shows, the legacy of slavery persists in most American lives," 9 July 2019 Most bulls have fewer, though their progeny still number in the thousands. Maureen O’hagan, Quartz, "The way we breed cows is setting them up for extinction," 24 June 2019 Doom’s progeny, like Counter-Strike and Call of Duty, added human enemies and military themes. Ian Bogost, The Atlantic, "Video-Game Violence Is Now a Partisan Issue," 5 Aug. 2019 Her spiritual progeny include Madonna, Lady Gaga, Taylor Swift, Cardi B, and any celebrity with the audacity to flaunt their consummate ability to influence the media and charm the public. Sharon Marcus, Vox, "The first modern celebrity was born 175 years ago," 26 June 2019 Most bulls have fewer, though their progeny still number in the thousands. Maureen O’hagan, Quartz, "The way we breed cows is setting them up for extinction," 24 June 2019 His progeny, Raury, and his acoustic guitar caught buzz for a short period before fizzling out. Brian Josephs,, "Lil Nas X goes through the motions on debut EP 7," 21 June 2019

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

See More

First Known Use of progeny

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

History and Etymology for progeny

Middle English progenie, from Anglo-French, from Latin progenies, from progignere

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about progeny

Listen to Our Podcast about progeny

Statistics for progeny

Last Updated

26 Aug 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for progeny

The first known use of progeny was in the 14th century

See more words from the same century

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for progeny



English Language Learners Definition of progeny

: a person who comes from a particular parent or family : the child or descendant of someone
: the young of an animal or plant
: something that is the product of something else


prog·​e·​ny | \ ˈprä-jə-nē How to pronounce progeny (audio) \
plural progenies

Kids Definition of progeny

: human descendants or animal offspring


prog·​e·​ny | \ ˈpräj-(ə-)nē How to pronounce progeny (audio) \
plural progenies

Medical Definition of progeny

: offspring of animals or plants

Keep scrolling for more

More from Merriam-Webster on progeny

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for progeny

Spanish Central: Translation of progeny

Nglish: Translation of progeny for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of progeny for Arabic Speakers

Comments on progeny

What made you want to look up progeny? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


to make a temporary encampment

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Musical Words Quiz

  • gramophone
  • Which word describes a musical performance marked by the absence of instrumental accompaniment?
How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!

Syn City

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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