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

The Lineage of Progeny

Progeny is the progeny of the Latin verb prōgignere, 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 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.
Recent Examples on the Web For a rock solid investment that ensures money will be available for your progeny in the coming years, consider investing in savings bonds, Certified Financial Planner John Scherer told the AARP. Hunter Boyce, ajc, 4 May 2022 Maybe Granny wants a break from her thoughtless progeny. Washington Post, 2 May 2022 The stories of Pam and the other women revolve around a central core of internecine battles between the older mobsters and theirmale progeny, all eager for a changing of the guard and conveyance of authority and power to the next generation. Paula L. Woods, Los Angeles Times, 18 Apr. 2022 Instead of an elegant entity made up of macromolecules spring-loaded to enter cells, unfurl, and produce progeny ad nauseam, the antivirals make sure that the viruses that enter human hosts are the last of their kind. Dan Werb, Time, 16 Mar. 2022 The Supreme Court decided to take up the case, at least in part because the 1st District Court of Appeal’s decision conflicted with rulings by three other district courts of appeal in Engle progeny cases. Jim Saunders,, 17 Mar. 2022 Vespolina is a progeny of nebbiolo, Piedmont’s mainstay red variety, and deserves to emerge from its parent’s shadow. Washington Post, 24 Feb. 2022 And yet, that’s exactly the fate the plant doesn’t want to befall its progeny. Katherine J. Wu, The Atlantic, 1 Apr. 2022 There’s nothing people on social media like doing more than making up quotes from their child and pretending their progeny is wise beyond their years. Matt Young, Chron, 28 Mar. 2022 See More

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.

First Known Use of progeny

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

History and Etymology for progeny

Middle English progenie, borrowed from Anglo-French, borrowed from Latin prōgeniēs, from prōgen-, variant stem of prōgignere "to produce as offspring, bring into being" + -iēs, deverbal and denominal noun suffix — more at progenitor

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

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Last Updated

10 May 2022

Cite this Entry

“Progeny.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 17 May. 2022.

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More Definitions for progeny


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

More from Merriam-Webster on progeny

Nglish: Translation of progeny for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of progeny for Arabic Speakers


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