en·​gen·​der | \ in-ˈjen-dər How to pronounce engender (audio) , en- \
engendered; engendering\ in-​ˈjen-​d(ə-​)riŋ How to pronounce engender (audio) , en-​ \

Definition of engender

transitive verb

2 : to cause to exist or to develop : produce policies that have engendered controversy

intransitive verb

: to assume form : originate

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When "engender" was first used in the 14th century, it meant "propagate" or "procreate," but extended meanings soon developed. "Engender" comes from the Latin verb generare, which means "to generate" or "to beget." "Generate," "regenerate," "degenerate," and "generation" are of course related to the Latin verb as well. As you might suspect, the list of "engender" relatives does not end there. "Generare" comes from the Latin noun genus, meaning "birth," "race," or "kind." From this source we have our own word genus, plus "gender," "general," and "generic," among other words.

Examples of engender in a Sentence

The issue has engendered a considerable amount of debate. a suggestion to go out for pizza that didn't seem to engender any interest
Recent Examples on the Web That poignant part of Kate's visit to the Lake District very much fit in with both her and the other royals' desire to engender religious tolerance and understanding, as well as to find imaginative ways to educate about past atrocities. Simon Perry, PEOPLE.com, 21 Sep. 2021 In the season opener, Ohio State’s offensive line was one of the few places that engender pessimism. Stephen Means, cleveland, 9 Sep. 2021 Facts and figures need to engender absolute trust, and that’s why having a single source of truth (SSOT) is a critical building block for any successful enterprise. Ragu Bhargava, Forbes, 21 May 2021 That would engender an expansion in the demand for fossil fuels; do not kid yourself that unconventional energy can satisfy that demand shift at competitive costs either now or over the foreseeable future. Benjamin Zycher, National Review, 15 Apr. 2021 The suits here are meant to engender baseless grievances that social media companies silence conservatives, and whip up more animosity against the Silicon Valley elite among his supporters. Philip Elliott, Time, 9 July 2021 Increased scrutiny would have proved disastrous for her business; the real purpose of Holmes’s endorsement may have been to signal righteousness, engender public trust, and gobble up further investments. Benjamin Mazer, The Atlantic, 15 Sep. 2021 Transplanting a human protein, known for promoting growth, into crops may engender larger, heavier and more bountiful plants, boosting agricultural yields by a whopping 50 percent, according to the new study in Nature Biotechnology. Shi En Kim, Smithsonian Magazine, 18 Aug. 2021 The abrupt rise in UK Delta variant cases will not only engender more long Covid, but has also already resulted in more severe illness, with hospitalizations and deaths. Maggie Fox, CNN, 7 July 2021

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'engender.' 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 engender

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

History and Etymology for engender

Middle English engendren, from Anglo-French engendrer, from Latin ingenerare, from in- + generare to generate

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

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Last Updated

15 Oct 2021

Cite this Entry

“Engender.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/engender. Accessed 17 Oct. 2021.

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More Definitions for engender



English Language Learners Definition of engender

: to be the source or cause of (something)

More from Merriam-Webster on engender

Nglish: Translation of engender for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of engender for Arabic Speakers


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