[ jenz ]

noun,plural gen·tes [jen-teez]. /ˈdʒɛn tiz/.
  1. a group of families in ancient Rome claiming descent from a common ancestor and united by a common name and common ancestral religious rites.

  2. Anthropology. a group tracing common descent in the male line; clan.

Origin of gens

First recorded in 1840–50, gens is from the Latin word gēns race, people. See genus, gender1, gender2

Other words from gens

  • subgens, noun, plural sub·gen·tes. Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use gens in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for gens


/ (dʒɛnz) /

nounplural gentes (ˈdʒɛntiːz)
  1. (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

  2. anthropol a group based on descent in the male line

Origin of gens

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