1. possessing the claimed or attributed character, quality, or origin; not counterfeit; authentic; real: genuine sympathy; a genuine antique.
  2. properly so called: a genuine case of smallpox.
  3. free from pretense, affectation, or hypocrisy; sincere: a genuine person.
  4. descended from the original stock; pure in breed: a genuine Celtic people.

Origin of genuine

1590–1600; < Latin genuīnus innate, natural, equivalent to genu, as in ingenuus native (see ingenuous) + -īnus -ine1
Related formsgen·u·ine·ly, adverbgen·u·ine·ness, nounnon·gen·u·ine, adjectivenon·gen·u·ine·ly, adverbnon·gen·u·ine·ness, nounqua·si-gen·u·ine, adjectivequa·si-gen·u·ine·ly, adverbun·gen·u·ine, adjectiveun·gen·u·ine·ly, adverbun·gen·u·ine·ness, noun

Synonyms for genuine

1. See authentic. 3. true, unaffected, open, honest, forthright.

Pronunciation note

Two pronunciations of genuine occur, with a sharp social contrast between them. The usual educated pronunciation is [jen-yoo-in] /ˈdʒɛn yu ɪn/, with the final syllable unstressed. Among some less educated speakers, especially older ones, genuine is commonly pronounced as [jen-yoo-ahyn] /ˈdʒɛn yuˌaɪn/, with a secondary stress on the final syllable, which has the vowel of sign. The latter pronunciation is sometimes used deliberately by educated speakers, as for emphasis or humorous effect. Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

British Dictionary definitions for non-genuine


  1. not fake or counterfeit; original; real; authentic
  2. not pretending; frank; sincere
  3. being of authentic or original stock
Derived Formsgenuinely, adverbgenuineness, noun

Word Origin for genuine

C16: from Latin genuīnus inborn, hence (in Late Latin) authentic, from gignere to produce
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 non-genuine



1590s, "natural, not acquired," from Latin genuinus "native, natural," from root of gignere "beget" (see genus), perhaps influenced in form by contrasting adulterinus "spurious." [Alternative etymology is from Latin genu "knee," from a supposed ancient custom of a father acknowledging paternity of a newborn by placing it on his knee.] Meaning "really proceeding from its reputed source" is from 1660s. Related: Genuinely; genuineness.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper