- a group of families in ancient Rome claiming descent from a common ancestor and united by a common name and common ancestral religious rites.
- Anthropology. a group tracing common descent in the male line; clan.
Origin of gens
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018
Examples from the Web for gens
There was no way of knowing how close it was to the home of these rebels of Dalis' Gens.
Then what of the Spokesmen of the Gens, who will be out of contact with me?
He was subjecting the people of his Gens to the white flames.
And no one lives there, since Dalis' Gens flew out to do battle!
He sped forth from the laboratory, to reorganize his beaten Gens.
- (in ancient Rome) any of a group of aristocratic families, having a common name and claiming descent from a common ancestor in the male line
- anthropol a group based on descent in the male line
C19: from Latin: race; compare genus, gender
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
Word Origin and History for gens
1847, in reference to ancient Rome, "tribe, clan, house (of families having a name and certain religious rites in common and a presumed common origin)," from Latin gens (genitive gentis) "race, clan, nation" (see genus).
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper