[ ri-jen-uh-rey-shuhn ]
/ rɪˌdʒɛn əˈreɪ ʃən /
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act of regenerating; state of being regenerated.
Electronics. a feedback process in which energy from the output of an amplifier is fed back to the grid circuit to reinforce the input.
Biology. the restoration or new growth by an organism of organs, tissues, etc., that have been lost, removed, or injured.
Theology. spiritual rebirth; religious revival.
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Origin of regeneration

1300–50; Middle English regeneracion<Late Latin regenerātiōn- (stem of regenerātiō). See regenerate, -ion

OTHER WORDS FROM regeneration

non·re·gen·e·ra·tion, noun
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2022


What does regeneration mean?

Regeneration is the process of regenerating—renewing or restoring something, especially after it has been damaged or lost. A close synonym is regrowth.

Regenerate and regeneration are commonly used in the context of biology to refer to the regrowth of part of an organism or environment. In animals, tissue, organs, or other body parts that have been injured or lost are sometimes regenerated. In some animals, regeneration happens on an even greater scale, with some being able to regrow an entire limb or tail. Environments that have been damaged or destroyed, like forests or grasslands damaged by fire, can also undergo regeneration.

Regeneration can also be used in other specific ways.

In the context of religion, regeneration is used to refer to a kind of spiritual rebirth. In city planning and development, regeneration is sometimes used as a synonym for redevelopment. In the context of data storage, regeneration is a method used to improve the speed and reliability of networks. In audio electronics, regeneration refers to a kind of feedback process that increases amplification.

Example: It is hoped that the experimental treatment will reduce healing time due to faster tissue regeneration.

Where does regeneration come from?

The first records of the word regeneration come from the 1300s. It ultimately comes from the Latin verb regenerāre, meaning “to bring forth again.” The prefix re- means “again” and generation means the “the act of producing or bringing into existence.”

In the natural world, regeneration happens in many different ways. Some plants can regrow from a single part—such as when you plant a chunk of carrot or potato and it sprouts again. Some simple organisms, like the hydra, can regenerate even after being torn apart. In humans, hair and skin are always regenerating, but even some organs are able to undergo regeneration, such as the liver and the lungs.

The more figurative uses of regeneration often liken the regrowth of something—such as a city or community—to the regrowth of a body part.

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What are some other forms related to regeneration?

What are some synonyms for regeneration?

What are some words that share a root or word element with regeneration


What are some words that often get used in discussing regeneration?

How is regeneration used in real life?

Regeneration can be used in many different contexts, but it’s most commonly used in biology.



Try using regeneration!

Which of the following words is NOT a synonym for regeneration

A. regrowth
B. reduction
C. rebirth
D. renewal

How to use regeneration in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for regeneration

/ (rɪˌdʒɛnəˈreɪʃən) /

the act or process of regenerating or the state of being regenerated; rebirth or renewal
the regrowth by an animal or plant of an organ, tissue, or part that has been lost or destroyed
electronics the use of positive feedback to increase the amplification of a radio frequency stage
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

Medical definitions for regeneration

[ rĭ-jĕn′ə-rāshən ]

Regrowth of lost or destroyed parts or organs.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.

Scientific definitions for regeneration

[ rĭ-jĕn′ə-rāshən ]

The regrowth of lost or destroyed parts or organs.

A Closer Look

Regeneration of parts or, in some cases, nearly the entire body of an organism from a part, is more common than one might think. Many protists like the amoeba that have been cut in half can grow back into a complete organism so long as enough of the nuclear material is undamaged. Severed cell parts, such as flagella, can also be regrown in protists. New plants can be grown from cuttings, and plants can often be regenerated from a mass of fully differentiated cells (such as a section of a carrot root), which, if isolated in a suitable environment, turn into a mass of undifferentiated cells that develop into a fully differentiated organism. The capacity for regeneration varies widely in animals, with some able to regenerate whole limbs and others not, but the capacity is reduced significantly in more complex animals. Certain simple invertebrates like the hydra are always regenerating themselves. If cut into tiny pieces that are then mixed up, the pieces can reorganize themselves and grow back into a complete organism. Flatworms have the capacity to regenerate themselves from only a small mass of cells. If they are chopped up into fine pieces, each piece has the capacity to develop into an entire organism. Starfish, which are echinoderms, can regenerate their entire body from their central section and a single arm. Newts and salamanders can regenerate lost legs and parts of eyes, but many other amphibians such as frogs and toads cannot. Certain lizards can regenerate their tails. In many animals, these regenerated body parts are not as large as the originals but are usually sufficient to be functional. Many higher animals such as mammals regularly regenerate certain tissues such as hair and skin and portions of others such as bone, but most tissues cannot be regenerated. About 75 percent of the human liver can be removed, and it will regenerate into a functional organ. The physiological reasons for this are still not understood. Regeneration in this case takes the form of the enlargement of the remaining structures rather than the re-creation of the lost ones. Thus, there are four mechanisms for tissue regeneration in animals: the reorganization of existing cells (as in the hydra), the differentiation of stored stem cells into the specific tissues needed (as in the salamander), the dedifferentiation of neighboring tissue cells and their subsequent regrowth as cells of the needed type (as in plants as well as certain animals like the salamander), and the compensatory growth of the surviving cells of the specific tissue (as in the human liver). There is a great interest in stem cells because of their potential use in regenerating body tissues, such as nerve cells and heart muscle. The biochemical mechanisms for dedifferentiation are also the subject of intense study.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.