ge·​ne·​al·​o·​gy | \ ˌjē-nē-ˈä-lə-jē How to pronounce genealogy (audio) also -ˈa-lə- How to pronounce genealogy (audio) also ˌje-nē- \
plural genealogies

Definition of genealogy

1 : an account of the descent of a person, family, or group from an ancestor or from older forms
2 : regular descent of a person, family, or group of organisms from a progenitor (see progenitor sense 1) or older form : pedigree
3 : the study of family ancestral lines
4 : an account of the origin and historical development of something

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Other Words from genealogy

genealogical \ ˌjē-​nē-​ə-​ˈlä-​ji-​kəl How to pronounce genealogy (audio) , ˌje-​nē-​ \ adjective
genealogically \ ˌjē-​nē-​ə-​ˈlä-​ji-​k(ə-​)lē How to pronounce genealogy (audio) , ˌje-​nē-​ \ adverb

Examples of genealogy in a Sentence

They've been researching their genealogies. has a distinguished genealogy that traces back to William the Conqueror
Recent Examples on the Web Johnson told Dateline that the use of investigative genetic genealogy to identify John and Jane Does is a powerful tool. Andrea Cavallier, NBC News, 2 Oct. 2021 The pages of genealogy were too small and too precious to rebind, so Kinsky removed them and bound photocopied, sepia-dyed versions in their place. Jenna Ross, Star Tribune, 15 June 2021 The case broke when the 2018 arrest of Joseph James DeAngelo Jr., the Golden State Killer, was accomplished through the use of forensic genealogy. Traci Rosenbaum, USA TODAY, 11 June 2021 The breakthrough, like more than 40 other arrests in long-unsolved cases, is once again being attributed to the science of genetic genealogy. New York Times, 7 June 2021 One of my pandemic projects was to take a deep dive into my genealogy. Roy S. Johnson |, al, 31 May 2021 The longtime Henrietta Street resident enjoyed researching her family genealogy, attending Scottish clan gatherings, quilting and spending time with her two pets, Miss Pris and Prudence. Frederick N. Rasmussen,, 9 Apr. 2021 After all, Greene is not a political aberration; her genealogy reaches back to another Georgia peach, Newt Gingrich, and further to Richard Nixon’s Southern Strategy. Alyson Cole, Fortune, 4 Mar. 2021 At the plantation, Scott-Reyes joined a growing wave of Black Americans who in recent years have been exploring their genealogy at historical sites. USA Today, 19 Feb. 2021

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

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for genealogy

Middle English genealogie, from Anglo-French, from Late Latin genealogia, from Greek, from genea race, family + -logia -logy; akin to Greek genos race

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Time Traveler for genealogy

Time Traveler

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

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Last Updated

15 Oct 2021

Cite this Entry

“Genealogy.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 24 Oct. 2021.

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More Definitions for genealogy



English Language Learners Definition of genealogy

: the study of family history
: the history of a particular family showing how the different members of the family are related to each other


ge·​ne·​al·​o·​gy | \ ˌjē-nē-ˈä-lə-jē How to pronounce genealogy (audio) \
plural genealogies

Kids Definition of genealogy

1 : a line of ancestors of a person or family or a history of such a line of ancestors
2 : the study of family lines of ancestors

More from Merriam-Webster on genealogy

Nglish: Translation of genealogy for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of genealogy for Arabic Speakers Encyclopedia article about genealogy


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