being in the earliest stage of development: germinal ideas.
of or relating to a germ or germs.
of the nature of a germ or germ cell.

Origin of germinal

1800–10; (< F) < Latin germin- (stem of germen sprout, bud; see germ) + -al1
Related formsger·mi·nal·ly, adverbnon·ger·mi·nal, adjectivesub·ger·mi·nal, adjectivesub·ger·mi·nal·ly, adverb


[jur-muh-nl; French zher-mee-nal]


(in the French Revolutionary calendar) the seventh month of the year, extending from March 21 to April 19.
(italics) a novel (1884) by Émile Zola.

Origin of Germinal

From French; see origin at germinal Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for germinal

Contemporary Examples of germinal

Historical Examples of germinal

British Dictionary definitions for germinal



of, relating to, or like germs or a germ cell
of, or in the earliest stage of development; embryonic
Derived Formsgerminally, adverb

Word Origin for germinal

C19: from New Latin germinālis, from Latin germen bud; see germ



the month of buds: the seventh month of the French revolutionary calendar, from March 22 to April 20
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 germinal

1808, from Modern Latin germinalis "in the germ," from Latin germen (genitive germinis) "sprout, bud, sprig, offshoot" (see germ) + -al (1).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

germinal in Medicine




Of, relating to, or having the nature of a germ cell.
Of, relating to, or occurring in the earliest stage of development of an embryo or organism.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.