[ jee-nuhs ]
See synonyms for: genusgeneragenuses on

noun,plural gen·e·ra [jen-er-uh], /ˈdʒɛn ər ə/, ge·nus·es.
  1. Biology. the usual major subdivision of a family or subfamily in the classification of organisms, usually consisting of more than one species.

  2. Logic. a class or group of individuals, or of species of individuals.

  1. a kind; sort; class.

Origin of genus

1545–55; <Latin: race, stock, kind, gender; cognate with Greek génos.See gens, gender1, kin

Other words from genus

  • pseu·do·ge·nus, noun, plural pseu·do·gen·e·ra, pseu·do·ge·nus·es.

Words that may be confused with genus

Words Nearby genus Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use genus in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for genus


/ (ˈdʒiːnəs) /

nounplural genera (ˈdʒɛnərə) or genuses
  1. biology any of the taxonomic groups into which a family is divided and which contains one or more species. For example, Vulpes (foxes) is a genus of the dog family (Canidae)

  2. logic a class of objects or individuals that can be divided into two or more groups or species

  1. a class, group, etc, with common characteristics

  2. maths a number characterizing a closed surface in topology equal to the number of handles added to a sphere to form the surface. A sphere has genus 0, a torus, genus 1, etc

Origin of genus

C16: from Latin: race

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

Scientific definitions for genus


[ nəs ]

Plural genera (jĕnər-ə)
  1. A group of organisms ranking above a species and below a family. The names of genera, like those of species, are written in italics. For example, Periplaneta is the genus of the American cockroach, and comes from the Greek for “wandering about.” See Table at taxonomy.

The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

Cultural definitions for genus


[ (jee-nuhs) ]

In biology, the classification lower than a family and higher than a species. Wolves belong to the same genus as dogs. Foxes belong to a different genus from that of dogs and wolves, but to the same family. (See Linnean classification.)

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.