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-gen

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a combining form meaning “that which produces,” used in the formation of compound words: endogen; hydrogen.
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Also -gene .

Origin of -gen

<French -gène ≪ Greek -genēs born, produced; akin to Latin genus,kin

Other definitions for -gen (2 of 3)

gen.

abbreviation
gender.
general.
genitive.
genus.

Other definitions for -gen (3 of 3)

Gen.

abbreviation
Military. General.
Bible. Genesis.
Geneva.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2022

WORDS THAT USE -GEN

What does -gen mean?

The combining formgen is used like a suffix meaning “that which produces.” It is often used in scientific and technical terms, especially in chemistry and biology.

The form –gen comes from Greek –genēs, meaning “born” or “produced.” The Latin translation and cognate of –genēs is nātus, meaning “born,” which is the source of natal, native, and nature. Find out how these terms derive from nātus at our entry for each word.

What are variants of –gen?

While the form –gen doesn’t have any variants, it is related to the combining forms genic, geny, and genous, as in heterogenic, heterogeny, and heterogenous. The form –gen is also closely related to the combining forms genesis and genetic as in carcinogenesis and autogenetic. Read our Words That Use articles for –genic, –geny, –genous, –genesis, and –genetic to learn more.

Examples of -gen

An example of a word you may have encountered that features –gen is carcinogen, “any substance or agent that tends to produce a cancer.”

We know –gen means “that which produces,” and the carcino portion of the word refers to “cancer,” from Greek karkínos. Carcinogen literally translates to “that which produces cancer.”

What are some words that use the combining form –gen?

What are some other forms that –gen may be commonly confused with?

Not every word that ends with the exact letters –gen, such as trudgen or smidgen, is necessarily using the combining form –gen to denote “that which produces.” Learn what trudgen has to do with swimming at our entry for the word.

Break it down!

The combining form hydro– means “water.” With this in mind, what does hydrogen literally mean?

How to use -gen in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for -gen (1 of 3)

gen
/ (dʒɛn) /

noun
informal informationgive me the gen on your latest project See also gen up

Word Origin for gen

C20: from gen (eral information)

British Dictionary definitions for -gen (2 of 3)

-gen

suffix forming nouns
producing or that which produceshydrogen
something producedcarcinogen

Word Origin for -gen

via French -gène, from Greek -genēs born

British Dictionary definitions for -gen (3 of 3)

Gen.

abbreviation for
General
Bible Genesis
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Medical definitions for -gen

-gen

suff.
Producer:androgen.
One that is produced:phosgene.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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