noun, plural gen·e·ra [jen-er-uh] /ˈdʒɛn ər ə/, ge·nus·es.
- Biology. the usual major subdivision of a family or subfamily in the classification of organisms, usually consisting of more than one species.
- Logic. a class or group of individuals, or of species of individuals.
- a kind; sort; class.
- and all this (or that) sort of thing.
noun plural genera (ˈdʒɛnərə) or genuses
- biology any of the taxonomic groups into which a family is divided and which contains one or more species. For example, Vulpes (foxes) is a genus of the dog family (Canidae)
- logic a class of objects or individuals that can be divided into two or more groups or species
- a class, group, etc, with common characteristics
- maths a number characterizing a closed surface in topology equal to the number of handles added to a sphere to form the surface. A sphere has genus 0, a torus, genus 1, etc
(plural genera), 1550s as a term of logic, “kind or class of things” (biological sense dates from c.1600), from Latin genus (genitive generis) “race, stock, kind; family, birth, descent, origin,” cognate with Greek genos “race, kind,” and gonos “birth, offspring, stock,” from PIE root *gen(e)- “produce, beget, be born” (cf. Sanskrit janati “begets, bears,” janah “race,” janman- “birth, origin,” jatah “born;” Avestan zizanenti “they bear;” Greek gignesthai “to become, happen;” Latin gignere “to beget,” gnasci “to be born,” genius “procreative divinity, inborn tutelary spirit, innate quality,” ingenium “inborn character,” germen “shoot, bud, embryo, germ;” Lithuanian gentis “kinsmen;” Gothic kuni “race;” Old English cennan “beget, create;” Old High German kind “child;” Old Irish ro-genar “I was born;” Welsh geni “to be born;” Armenian chanim “I bear, I am born”).
n. pl. gen•er•a (jĕn′ər-ə)
- A taxonomic category ranking below a family and above a species and generally consisting of a group of species exhibiting similar characteristics.
Plural genera (jĕn′ər-ə)
- A group of organisms ranking above a species and below a family. The names of genera, like those of species, are written in italics. For example, Periplaneta is the genus of the American cockroach, and comes from the Greek for wandering about. See Table at taxonomy.
In biology, the classification lower than a family and higher than a species. Wolves belong to the same genus as dogs. Foxes belong to a different genus from that of dogs and wolves, but to the same family. (See Linnean classification.)