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a suffix of adjectives corresponding to nouns with stems in -gen: erogenous.
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Origin of -genous

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023


What does -genous mean?

The combining formgenous is used like a suffix meaning “of or related to that which produces.” It is often used in scientific terms, especially in biology.

The form –genous comes a combination of two combining forms, –gen and –ous. The form gen means “that which produces,” from Greek –genēs, meaning “born” or “produced.” The form ous is a suffix used to form adjectives, from Latin –ōsus. 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 –genous?

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

Examples of -genous

An example of a word you may have encountered that features –genous is erogenous, “especially sensitive to sexual stimulation, as certain areas of the body.”

The ero– part of the word here represents eros, meaning “physical love; sexual desire,” from Greek érōs, which was also the name of the Greek god of love. As we know, –genous means “of or related to that which produces.” Erogenous literally means “of or related to that which produces physical love (sexual desire).”

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

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

Break it down!

The combining form sporo means “spore.” With this in mind, what does the scientific term sporogenous mean?

British Dictionary definitions for -genous


adj combining form
yielding or generatingandrogenous; erogenous
generated by or issuing fromendogenous

Word Origin for -genous

from -gen + -ous
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