[ jen-uh-sis ]
/ ˈdʒɛn ə sɪs /
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noun, plural gen·e·ses [jen-uh-seez]. /ˈdʒɛn əˌsiz/.
an origin, creation, or beginning.
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Origin of genesis

1595–1605; <Latin: generation, birth <Greek génesis origin, source


hy·per·gen·e·sis, noun

Other definitions for genesis (2 of 3)

[ jen-uh-sis ]
/ ˈdʒɛn ə sɪs /

the first book of the Bible, dealing with the Creation and the Patriarchs. Abbreviation: Gen.

Origin of Genesis

First recorded before 1100; from Latin: literally “generation, creation,” from Greek Génesis, the Greek rendering of Hebrew bĕrēʾshith, the first word of the Biblical book, traditionally translated “in the beginning”; see genesis


Ge·ne·si·ac [juh-nee-see-ak], /dʒəˈni siˌæk/, Gen·e·si·a·cal [jen-uh-sahy-uh-kuhl], /ˌdʒɛn əˈsaɪ ə kəl/, Gen·e·sit·ic [jen-uh-sit-ik] /dʒɛn ə ˈsɪt ɪk/ adjective

Other definitions for genesis (3 of 3)


a combining form of genesis: parthenogenesis.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2022


What does -genesis mean?

The combining formgenesis is used like a suffix meaning “genesis.” Genesis means “an origin, creation, or beginning.” The form –genesis is often used in scientific terms, especially in biology. In particular, it describes the process of creation.

The form –genesis comes from Greek génesis, meaning “origin” or “source,” source of the English word genesis. The Latin translation of –génesis is orīgō, which is the source of words such as aboriginal and origin. To learn more, check out our entries for both aboriginal and origin.

What are variants of –genesis?

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

Examples of -genesis

One example of a scientific term that uses –genesis is biogenesis, “the production of living organisms from other living organisms.”

The form bio means “life,” from Greek bíos, and as we know, –genesis means “origin” or “source.” Biogenesis literally translates to “life source.”

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

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

Break it down!

The combining form cyto means “cell.” With this in mind, what does cytogenesis mean?

How to use genesis in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for genesis (1 of 3)

/ (ˈdʒɛnɪsɪs) /

noun plural -ses (-ˌsiːz)
a beginning or origin of anything

Word Origin for genesis

Old English: via Latin from Greek; related to Greek gignesthai to be born

British Dictionary definitions for genesis (2 of 3)

/ (ˈdʒɛnɪsɪs) /

the first book of the Old Testament recounting the events from the Creation of the world to the sojourning of the Israelites in Egypt

British Dictionary definitions for genesis (3 of 3)


n combining form
indicating genesis, development, or generationbiogenesis; parthenogenesis

Derived forms of -genesis

-genetic or -genic, adj combining form

Word Origin for -genesis

New Latin, from Latin: 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 genesis (1 of 2)

[ jĕnĭ-sĭs ]

n. pl. gen•e•ses (-sēz′)
The coming into being of something; the origin.

Medical definitions for genesis (2 of 2)


Origin; production:biogenesis.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.

Cultural definitions for genesis


The first book of the Old Testament; its first words are “In the beginning” (genesis is a Greek word for “beginning”). It covers the time from the beginning of the world through the days of the patriarchs, including the stories of the Creation, Adam and Eve, the Fall of Man, Cain and Abel, Noah and the Flood, God's covenant with Abraham, Abraham and Isaac, Jacob and Esau, and Joseph and his brothers.

The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.