[ jen-ik ]
/ ˈdʒɛn ɪk /
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adjective Biology.
of, pertaining to, resembling, or arising from a gene or genes.
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Origin of genic

First recorded in 1920–25; gene + -ic

Other definitions for genic (2 of 2)


a combining form often corresponding to nouns ending in -gen or -geny, with the following senses: “producing or causing” (hallucinogenic); “produced or caused by” (cosmogenic); “pertaining to a gene or genes” (polygenic); “pertaining to suitability for reproduction by a medium” (telegenic).
Compare -genous.

Origin of -genic

see origin at -gen, -ic
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023


What does -genic mean?

The combining formgenic is used like a suffix with a variety of meanings, all essentially meaning “of or related to production or generation.” In some instances, the initial element specifies the thing being produced. For instance, ulcerogenic means “ulcer-producing.” In others, the initial element specifies the location or generator of production, such as costogenic, meaning “arising from a rib.” The form –genic is often used in scientific terms, especially in biology and medicine.

The form –genic comes from the combination of two forms, –gen and –ic. The form gen means “that which produces,” from Greek –genēs, meaning “born” or “produced.” The suffix ic means “having some characteristics of,” from Greek –ikos. 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 –genic?

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

Examples of -genic

One example of a medical term featuring the form –genic is otogenic, “of or originating within the ear, especially from inflammation of the ear.”

The form oto means “ear,” from Greek oûs, and as we have seen, –genic means “of or relating to production.” Otogenic literally means “of or relating to production in the ear.”

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

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

Break it down!

The combining form lacto means “milk” or “lactation.” With this in mind, what does lactogenic mean?

British Dictionary definitions for genic (1 of 2)

/ (ˈdʒɛnɪk) /

of or relating to a gene or genes

British Dictionary definitions for genic (2 of 2)


adj combining form
relating to production or generationcarcinogenic
well suited to or suitable forphotogenic

Word Origin for -genic

from -gen + -ic
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