sui generis was our Word of the Day on 05/13/2013. Hear the podcast!
Theme music by Joshua Stamper ©2006 New Jerusalem Music/ASCAP
Examples of sui generis in a Sentence
among history's greats Leonardo da Vinci is often considered sui generis—a man of such stupendous genius that the world may never see his like again
Recent Examples of sui generis from the Web
But Trump is not sui generis; his authoritarian impulses merely represent a more extreme iteration of a growing impulse on the right.
Last year, the octogenarian sui generis singer and songwriter scored a coup by luring rarely touring Northern Irish soul legend Van Morrison to play a single show with him, in Hershey, Pa., of all places.
That’s because of the unstructured, sui generis nature of restaurant menus.
This is not to deny that what happened in black Pittsburgh was not a renaissance but rather to say that the Harlem Renaissance is something of a sui generis urban experience in African-American history.
His personal qualities — the gross, corrupt, ignorant, bullying, lazy solipsism — are sui generis.
The way Reagan let Baker play the role of chief of staff should be the model for how to run a White House, but the way each subsequent president ran his White House (or let it be run) has been sui generis, depending on his personality.
The show’s oddball approach was sui generis in its day, and had remained so–until now.
And the sui generis David Greenspan, luxury-cast as Landlorde, creates from his usual drawls and eccentricities a character that exists completely beyond those parameters.
These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'sui generis.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.
Did You Know?
English contains many terms that ultimately trace back to the Latin forms gener- or "genus" (which are variously translated as "birth," "race," "kind," and "class"). Offspring of those roots include "general," "generate," "generous," "generic," "degenerate," and "gender." But "sui generis" is truly a one-of-a-kind "gener-" descendant that English speakers have used for singular things since the late 1600s. Its earliest uses were in scientific contexts, where it identified substances, principles, diseases, and even rocks that were unique or that seemed to be the only representative of their class or group. By the early 1900s, however, "sui generis" had expanded beyond solely scientific contexts, and it is now used more generally for anything that stands alone.
sui generis Synonyms
SUI GENERIS Defined for English Language Learners
Definition of sui generis for English Language Learners
: in a class or group of its own : not like anything else
legal Definition of sui generis
- the lawyer's…ad that makes no distinction among various legal and factual nuances in each sui generis case has the potential to mislead
- —National Law Journal
Origin and Etymology of sui generis
Seen and Heard
What made you want to look up sui generis? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).