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    -genesis — germ (n.)


    word-forming element meaning "birth, origin, creation," from Greek genesis "origin, creation, generation," from gignesthai "to be born," related to genos "race, birth, descent" (from PIE root *gene- "give birth, beget," with derivatives referring to procreation and familial and tribal groups).ETD -genesis.2

    genesis (n.)

    Old English Genesis, first book of the Pentateuch, which tells among other things of the creation of the world, from Latin genesis "generation, nativity," in Late Latin taken as the title of first book of the Old Testament, from Greek genesis "origin, creation, generation," from gignesthai "to be born," related to genos "race, birth, descent" (from PIE root *gene- "give birth, beget," with derivatives referring to procreation and familial and tribal groups).ETD genesis (n.).2

    Greek translators used the word as the title of the biblical book, rendering Hebrew bereshith, literally "in the beginning," which was the first word of the text, taken as its title. The extended sense of "origin, creation" is recorded in English by c. 1600.ETD genesis (n.).3

    genetic (adj.)

    1831, "pertaining to origins," coined by Carlyle as if from Greek genetikos from genesis "origin" (see genesis). Darwin used it biologically as "resulting from common origin" (1859); modern sense of "pertaining to genetics or genes" is from 1908 (see gene). Related: Genetically. Genetical is attested from 1650s as "pertaining to origins."ETD genetic (adj.).2

    genetics (n.)

    1872, "laws of origination;" see genetic + -ics. A coinage of English biologist William Bateson (1861-1926). Meaning "study of heredity" is from 1891.ETD genetics (n.).2

    genet (n.)

    small civet, late 15c., from Old French genete (13c., Modern French genette), from Spanish gineta, from Arabic jarnait.ETD genet (n.).2

    geneticist (adj.)

    1912, from genetics + -ist.ETD geneticist (adj.).2

    geneva (n.)

    1706, alteration (by influence of the Swiss city name) of Dutch genevre, French genière (see gin (n.1)).ETD geneva (n.).2


    city in Switzerland, from Latin Genava, perhaps from a PIE root meaning "estuary" or one meaning "bend;" in either case a reference to its situation. From 1920 sometimes in reference to the city as the site of the headquarters of the League of Nations. The original Geneva Convention among Great Britain and the major continental powers to introduce humanitarian conduct in modern warfare (neutrality of hospitals, etc.) dates from 1864; the most recent update was in 1949. The Geneva Protocol is a League of Nations document meant to settle international disputes; it dates from 1924. Earlier the city was associated with Calvinism. Related: Genevan (1841); Genevian (1570s); Genevese (by 1660s); Genevois (1550s).ETD Geneva.2


    fem. proper name, from French Geneviève, from Late Latin Genovefa, probably of Celtic origin.ETD Genevieve.2


    word-forming element meaning "genesis, origin, mode of production," forming corresponding abstract nouns to words in -gen, from French -génie and Modern Latin -genia, from Greek -geneia, from -genes "born, produced," the form in compounds of genos, from PIE root *gene- "give birth, beget," with derivatives referring to procreation and familial and tribal groups.ETD -geny.2

    genie (n.)

    1650s, "tutelary spirit," from French génie, from Latin genius (see genius); used in French translation of "Arabian Nights" to render Arabic jinni, singular of jinn, which it accidentally resembled, and attested in English with this sense from 1748.ETD genie (n.).2

    geniality (n.)

    c. 1600, "festivity;" 1831, "cheerfulness," from Late Latin genialitas "festivity, pleasantness," from Latin genialis "pleasant, festive" (see genial).ETD geniality (n.).2

    genial (adj.)

    1560s, "pertaining to marriage," from Latin genialis "pleasant, festive," originally "pertaining to marriage rites," from genius "guardian spirit," with here perhaps a special sense of "tutelary deity of a married couple," from PIE *gen(e)-yo-, from root *gene- "give birth, beget," with derivatives referring to procreation and familial and tribal groups. Originally used in English in the Latin literal sense; meaning "cheerful, friendly" is by 1746. Related: Genially.ETD genial (adj.).2


    word-forming element meaning "producing, pertaining to generation;" see -gen + -ic.ETD -genic.2

    geniculate (adj.)

    "having knots or joints; bent like a knee," 1660s, from Latin geniculatus "having knots, knotted," from geniculum "little knee, knot on the stalk of a plant," diminutive of genu "knee" (from PIE root *genu- (1) "knee; angle"). Related: Geniculation (1610s).ETD geniculate (adj.).2

    genii (n.)

    Latinate English plural of genius.ETD genii (n.).2

    genital (adj.)

    late 14c., "pertaining to (sexual) reproduction," in membres genytal "the genitals," from Latin genitalis "pertaining to generation or birth; fruitful" (also a by-name of the goddess Diana), from genitus, past participle of gignere "to beget" (from PIE root *gene- "give birth, beget"). Hence the English word came to mean "pertaining to the organs of generation." As a noun meaning "sex organ" from mid-15c. (plural genitals is from late 14c.).ETD genital (adj.).2

    genitive (adj.)

    late 14c., in reference to the grammatical case, from Old French genitif or directly from Latin (casus) genitivus "case expressing possession, source, or origin," from genitivus "of or belonging to birth," from genitus, past participle of gignere "to beget, produce" (from PIE root *gene- "give birth, beget," with derivatives referring to procreation and familial and tribal groups).ETD genitive (adj.).2

    This word was misused by Latin grammarians to render Greek genikē (ptōsis) "the general or generic (case)," expressing race or kind (Greek genikos "belonging to the family"), from genos "family, race, birth, descent," from the same PIE root as the Latin word. As the genitive also is the case of the possessor, and the Romans "were not strong in abstract matters" [Gilbert Murray], the result was some confusion.ETD genitive (adj.).3

    The noun meaning "the genitive case in grammar" is from 1610s.ETD genitive (adj.).4

    genitals (n.)

    "reproductive organs," especially the external sexual organs, late 14c., from genital (adj.). Compare genitalia.ETD genitals (n.).2

    genitalia (n.)

    "the genital organs," 1876, Modern Latin, from Latin genitalia (membra), neuter plural of genitalis "genital, pertaining to generation or birth" (see genital). The Latin word also yielded, with change of suffix, French génitoires (12c.), hence Middle English and early Modern English genitors "genitals."ETD genitalia (n.).2

    genitival (adj.)

    "pertaining to or relating to the genitive," 1818, from genitive + -al (1). Related: Genitivally.ETD genitival (adj.).2

    genius (n.)

    late 14c., "tutelary or moral spirit" who guides and governs an individual through life, from Latin genius "guardian deity or spirit which watches over each person from birth; spirit, incarnation; wit, talent;" also "prophetic skill; the male spirit of a gens," originally "generative power" (or "inborn nature"), from PIE *gen(e)-yo-, from root *gene- "give birth, beget," with derivatives referring to procreation and familial and tribal groups.ETD genius (n.).2

    The sense of "characteristic disposition" of a person is from 1580s. The meaning "person of natural intelligence or talent" and that of "exalted natural mental ability, skill in the synthesis of knowledge derived from perception" are attested by 1640s.ETD genius (n.).3


    city in Italy, Italian Genova, from Latin Genua, perhaps from a PIE root meaning "curve, bend," which could make it a cognate of Geneva. Other theories hold it to be perhaps from janua "gate," or from the Italic god Janus. Adjective forms in English included Middle English Genoway (also in plural, Janeways), c. 1400, from Old French Genoveis, from Italian Genovese. In later English, Genoese (1550s); Genovese (c. 1600); Genoan (c. 1600); Genovesian (1620s).ETD Genoa.2

    genocide (n.)

    1944, apparently coined by Polish-born U.S. jurist Raphael Lemkin (1900-1959) in his work "Axis Rule in Occupied Europe" [p.19], in reference to Nazi extermination of Jews, literally "killing a tribe," from Greek genos "race, kind" (from PIE root *gene- "give birth, beget," with derivatives referring to procreation and familial and tribal groups) + -cide "a killing." The proper formation would be *genticide.ETD genocide (n.).2

    Earlier in a similar sense was populicide (1799), from French populicide, by 1792, a word from the Revolution. This was taken into German, as in Völkermeuchelnden "genocidal" (Heine), which was Englished 1893 as folk-murdering. Ethnocide is attested from 1974 in English (1970 in French).ETD genocide (n.).3

    genocidal (adj.)

    1948, from genocide + -al (1). Related: Genocidally.ETD genocidal (adj.).2

    genome (n.)

    "sum total of genes in a set," 1930, genom, modeled on German genom, coined 1920 by German botanist Hans Winkler, from gen "gene" (see gene) + (chromos)om "chromosome" (see chromosome).ETD genome (n.).2

    genotype (n.)

    "genetic constitution of an individual," 1910, from German Genotypus (Wilhelm Johannsen, 1909); see gene + type (n.). Earlier the same word was used with a sense of "type-species of a genus" (1897); in this case, the first element is from genus.ETD genotype (n.).2


    word-forming element meaning "generating, producing, yielding;" see -gen + -ous. In modern formations, making adjectives corresponding to words in -gen. In some older words, from Late Latin -genus, from Latin -gena "born" (for example indigenous).ETD -genous.2

    genre (n.)

    1770, "particular style of art," a French word in English (nativized from c. 1840), from French genre "kind, sort, style" (see gender (n.)). Used especially in French for "independent style." In painting, as an adjective, "depicting scenes of ordinary life" (a domestic interior or village scene, as compared to landscape, historical, etc.) from 1849.ETD genre (n.).2

    Genro (n.)

    "elder statesman of Japan," 1876, from Japanese, literally "first elders."ETD Genro (n.).2

    gent (n.)

    colloquial shortening of gentleman, by 17c. In early uses it is difficult to distinguish the shortening from the common abbreviation gent., which perhaps is the origin of this word. "Early in the nineteenth century the word was colloquial and slightly jocular; about 1840 its use came to be regarded as a mark of low breeding" [OED, 2nd ed. print, 1989].ETD gent (n.).2

    genteel (adj.)

    1590s, "fashionably elegant; suitable to polite society, characteristic of a lady or gentleman; decorous in manners or behavior," from French gentil "stylish, fashionable, elegant; nice, graceful, pleasing," from Old French gentil "high-born, noble" (11c.); a reborrowing (with evolved senses) of the French word that had early come into English as gentle (q.v.), with French pronunciation and stress preserved to emphasize the distinction. The Latin source of the French word is the ancestor of English gentile, but the main modern meaning of that word is from a later Scriptural sense in Latin. See also jaunty. OED 2nd ed. reports genteel "is now used, except by the ignorant, only in mockery" (a development it dates from the 1840s).ETD genteel (adj.).2

    gentian (n.)

    type of herb, late 14c., genciane, from Old French genciane (13c.) and directly from Latin gentiana, said by Pliny to be named for Gentius, king of ancient Illyria who discovered its properties. This likely is a folk-etymology, but the word may be Illyrian nonetheless, as the suffix -an frequently occurs in Illyrian words.ETD gentian (n.).2

    gentility (n.)

    mid-14c., "nobility of birth, gentle birth," from Old French gentilité (14c.), from Latin gentilitatem (nominative gentilitas) "relationship in the same family or clan," from gentilis "of the same family or clan" (see gentle; also compare gentry). From 1640s as "social superiority." Meaning "state of being gentile" is rare.ETD gentility (n.).2

    gentile (n.)

    "one who is not a Jew," c. 1400; earlier "one who is not a Christian, a pagan" (late 14c.), from Late Latin noun use of Latin gentilis "of the same family or clan, of or belonging to a Roman gens," from gens (genitive gentis) "race, clan" (from PIE root *gene- "give birth, beget," with derivatives referring to procreation and familial and tribal groups). Compare gentle.ETD gentile (n.).2

    The Latin adjective also meant "of or belonging to the same nation," hence, as a noun, gentiles (plural) might mean "men of family; persons belonging to the same family; fellow countrymen, kinsmen," but also "foreigners, barbarians" (as opposed to Romans), those bound only by the Jus Gentium, the "law of nations," defined as "the law that natural reason establishes among all mankind and is followed by all peoples alike."ETD gentile (n.).3

    The Latin word then was used in the Vulgate to translate Greek ethnikos (see ethnic), from ta ethnē "the nations," which translated Hebrew ha goyim "the (non-Jewish) nations" (see goy). Hence in Late Latin, after the Christianization of Rome, gentilis also could mean "pagans, heathens," as opposed to Christians. Based on Scripture, gentile also was used by Mormons (1847) and Shakers (1857) to refer to those not of their profession.ETD gentile (n.).4

    gentle (adj.)

    early 13c., gentile, gentle "well-born, of noble rank or family," from Old French gentil/jentil "high-born, worthy, noble, of good family; courageous, valiant; fine, good, fair" (11c., in Modern French "nice, graceful, pleasing; fine, pretty") and directly from Latin gentilis "of the same family or clan," in Medieval Latin "of noble or good birth," from gens (genitive gentis) "race, clan," from root of gignere "beget," from PIE root *gene- "to give birth, beget," from PIE root *gene- "give birth, beget," with derivatives referring to procreation and familial and tribal groups.ETD gentle (adj.).2

    Sense evolved in English and French to "having the character or manners of one of noble rank or birth," varying according to how those were defined. From mid-13c. in English as "gracious, kind" (now obsolete), manners prescribed for Christian or chivalrous nobility. From late 13c. as "courteous, polite, well-bred, charming;" c. 1300 as "graceful, beautiful." Meaning "mild, tender; easy; not harsh" (of animals, things, persons) is from 1550s. Older sense remains in gentleman, and compare gentile (adj.), an alternative form which tends to keep the Biblical senses of the Latin word (though gentle in Middle English sometimes meant "pagan, heathen"), and genteel, which is the same word borrowed again from French. From 1823 as "pertaining to the fairies."ETD gentle (adj.).3

    gentleness (n.)

    c. 1300, "inherited nature," from gentle + -ness. Meaning "freedom from harshness or violence" is from 1610s.ETD gentleness (n.).2

    gentleman (n.)

    c. 1200, perhaps mid-12c., "well-born man, man of good family or birth," also extended to Roman patricians and ancient Greek aristocrats, from gentle + man (n.); the compound probably is modeled on Old French gentilhomme (the English gentleman itself was borrowed into French in 18c.).ETD gentleman (n.).2

    Given specific uses in late Middle English (small gentleman, gentleman-of-arms, gentleman-usher, etc.), hence in England the word often meant any man above the social rank of a yeoman, including the nobility, but it was sometimes restricted to those who bear a coat of arms but not a title; in U.S., "man of property, not engaged in business or a profession" (1789). The English word from the beginning also had a special sense "nobleman whose behavior conforms to the ideals of chivalry and Christianity," and gentleman came to be used loosely for any man of good breeding, courtesy, kindness, honor, strict regard for the feelings of others, etc.ETD gentleman (n.).3

    Eventually, in polite use, it came to mean a man in general, regardless of social standing. Related: Gentlemen. Gentleman's agreement is first attested 1929. Gentleman farmer recorded from 1749, "A man of means who farms on a large scale, employs hands, and does little or none of the work himself" [Craigie, "Dictionary of American English"].ETD gentleman (n.).4

    gentlemanly (adj.)

    early 15c., "well-behaved, courteous," from gentleman + -ly (1).ETD gentlemanly (adj.).2

    gentlewoman (n.)

    early 13c., "woman of good family or breeding," from gentle + woman. It seems never to have developed the looser senses in gentleman; Bret Harte tried gentlewomanliness.ETD gentlewoman (n.).2

    gently (adv.)

    early 14c., "befitting one of gentle rank, as of good family," from gentle + -ly (2). Meaning "quietly, softly, without rudeness, gradually" is from 1550s.ETD gently (adv.).2

    gentry (n.)

    c. 1300, "nobility of rank or birth;" mid-14c., "a fashion or custom of the nobility;" late 14c., "nobility of character," from Old French genterie, genterise, variant of gentelise "noble birth, aristocracy; courage, honor; kindness, gentleness," from gentil "high-born, noble, of good family" (see gentle).ETD gentry (n.).2

    The meaning "noble persons, the class of well-born and well-bred people" is from 1520s in English, later often in England referring to the upper middle class, persons of means and leisure but below the nobility. Earlier in both senses was gentrice (c. 1200 as "nobility of character," late 14c. as "noble persons"), and gentry in early use also might have been regarded as a singular of that. In Anglo-Irish, gentry was a name for "the fairies" (1880), and gentle could mean "enchanted" (1823).ETD gentry (n.).3

    gentrification (n.)

    1973, noun of action from gentrify.ETD gentrification (n.).2

    gentrify (v.)

    "renovate inner-city housing to middle-class standards," by 1972, from gentry + -fy. Related: Gentrified, which was used from early 19c. of persons.ETD gentrify (v.).2

    genus (n.)

    (Latin plural genera), 1550s as a term of logic, "kind or class of things" (biological sense dates from c. 1600), from Latin genus (genitive generis) "race, stock, kind; family, birth, descent, origin" (from suffixed form of PIE root *gene- "give birth, beget," with derivatives referring to procreation and familial and tribal groups).ETD genus (n.).2

    *genu- (1)

    Proto-Indo-European root meaning "knee; angle."ETD *genu- (1).2

    It forms all or part of: agonic; decagon; diagonal; geniculate; genuflect; genuflection; -gon; goniometer; heptagon; hexagon; knee; kneel; octagon; orthogonal; pentagon; polygon; trigonometry.ETD *genu- (1).3

    It is the hypothetical source of/evidence for its existence is provided by: Sanskrit janu, Avestan znum, Hittite genu "knee;" Greek gony "knee," gōnia "corner, angle;" Latin genu "knee;" Old English cneo, cneow "knee."ETD *genu- (1).4

    *genu- (2)

    Proto-Indo-European root, probably originally "jaw, jawbone," but also forming words for "chin, cheek." It forms all or part of: chin; Compsognathus; gnathic; gnatho-.ETD *genu- (2).2

    It is the hypothetical source of/evidence for its existence is provided by: Sanskrit hanuh "jaw," Avestan zanu- "chin;" Armenian cnawt "jawbone, cheek;" Lithuanian žándas "jawbone;" Greek genus "chin, lower jaw," geneion "chin;" Old Irish gin "mouth," Welsh gen "jawbone, chin;" Old English cin, "chin."ETD *genu- (2).3

    genuflection (n.)

    "act of bending the knee," especially in worship, early 15c., genu-fleccion, from Medieval Latin genuflectionem (nominative genuflexio) "bending of the knee," noun of action from past-participle stem of Late Latin genuflectere "genuflect," properly genu flectere "to bend the knee," from Latin genu "knee" (from PIE root *genu- (1) "knee; angle") + flectere "to bend" (see flexible).ETD genuflection (n.).2

    genuflect (v.)

    "bend the knee" as an act of worship or respect, 1620s, a back-formation from genuflection. Related: Genuflected; genuflecting.ETD genuflect (v.).2

    genuflexion (n.)

    alternative form of genuflection; see -xion.ETD genuflexion (n.).2

    genuine (adj.)

    1590s, "natural, not acquired," from Latin genuinus "native, natural, innate," from root of gignere "to beget, produce" (from PIE root *gene- "give birth, beget"), perhaps influenced in form by contrasting adulterinus "spurious." [An 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.] The meaning "really proceeding from its reputed source" is from 1660s; compare authentic. Related: Genuinely; genuineness.ETD genuine (adj.).2


    word-forming element meaning "earth, the Earth," ultimately from Greek geo-, combining form of Attic and Ionic "the earth, land, a land or country" (see Gaia).ETD geo-.2

    geocentric (adj.)

    "having reference to the Earth as its center," 1680s, from geo- + -centric. Related: Geocentrically; geocentrism (1882).ETD geocentric (adj.).2

    geochronology (n.)

    also geo-chronology, 1890, probably based on earlier French and German geo-chronologie, from geo- + chronology.ETD geochronology (n.).2

    geode (n.)

    rounded stone with a hollow center lined with crystals, 1670s (in Greek form from 1610s), from French géode, from Latin geodes, name of a certain precious stone, from Greek geodes "earthy, earth-like, with deep soil," from "earth" (Homeric gaia; see Gaia) + -oidēs, adjective suffix, "characterized by" (see -oid). Perhaps so called in reference to the rough crust in which the crystals are hidden. Related: Geodic.ETD geode (n.).2

    geodesic (adj.)

    1809, from geodesy "surveying" + -ic; earlier was geodesical (1818). Alternative geodetic, from the classical stem, is from 1819; geodetical is from c. 1600. Geodesic dome, one built according to geodesic principles, is attested from 1953.ETD geodesic (adj.).2

    geodesy (n.)

    1560s, "the art of land surveying," from Modern Latin geodaesia, from Greek geodaisia "division of the earth;" ultimately from "earth" (see Gaia) + stem of daiein "to divide," from PIE *dai-, extended form of root *da- "to divide." In modern use it refers to mathematical calculations derived from measuring large portions of the earth's surface. In this sense, in reference to structures, from 1936.ETD geodesy (n.).2

    geodetic (adj.)

    1834, see geodesic. Related: Geodetical; geodetically. A geodetic survey takes account of the curvature of the earth to obtain unity of results. The U.S. Coast & Geodetic Survey dates to 1879.ETD geodetic (adj.).2

    geoduck (n.)

    edible Pacific clam, 1883, perhaps from an American Indian word.ETD geoduck (n.).2


    masc. personal name, attested in England by late 11c., from Old French Geuffroi, from Medieval Latin Gaufridus, from Old High German gewi "district" (German Gau; see gau) + fridu "peace" (from Proto-Germanic *frithu- "peace," from suffixed form of PIE root *pri- "to love").ETD Geoffrey.2

    geographic (adj.)

    1620s, shortened form of geographical (q.v.); in some cases probably from French géographique or Late Latin geographicus.ETD geographic (adj.).2

    geographical (adj.)

    "pertaining to geography," 1550s, from Late Latin geographicus (from Greek geographikos, from geographia; see geography) + -al (1). Related: Geographically.ETD geographical (adj.).2

    geographer (n.)

    "one versed in geography," 1540s, from geography + agent noun ending -er (1). The Greek word was geographos (Medieval Latin geographus).ETD geographer (n.).2

    geography (n.)

    "the science of description of the earth's surface in its present condition," 1540s, from French géographie (15c.), from Latin geographia, from Greek geographia "description of the earth's surface," from geo- "earth" + -graphia "description" (see -graphy).ETD geography (n.).2

    geolatry (n.)

    "earth-worship," 1860, from geo- + -latry "worship of." Related: Geolater.ETD geolatry (n.).2

    geological (adj.)

    1791, from geology + -ical. Related: Geologically.ETD geological (adj.).2

    geologic (adj.)

    1799, from geology + -ic. Geologic time is attested from 1846.ETD geologic (adj.).2

    geology (n.)

    1795 as "science of the past and present condition of the Earth's crust," from Modern Latin geologia "the study of the earth," from geo- "earth" + logia (see -logy). German Geologie is attested by 1785. In Medieval Latin, geologia (14c.) meant "study of earthly things," i.e. law, as distinguished from arts and sciences, which concern the works of God. Darwin used geologize as a verb.ETD geology (n.).2

    geologist (n.)

    1795, from geology + -ist. Alternatives are geologer (1822); geologian (1837).ETD geologist (n.).2

    geomancy (n.)

    "art of divination by means of signs derived from the earth," late 14c., from Old French géomancie, from Medieval Latin geomantia, from late Greek *geomanteia, from geo-, combining form of "earth" (see Gaia) + manteia "divination" (see -mancy). Related: Geomantic; geomantical.ETD geomancy (n.).2

    geomancer (n.)

    c. 1400, agent noun from geomancy.ETD geomancer (n.).2

    geometer (n.)

    "one skilled in geometry," late 15c., from Latin geometres (in Late Latin also geometra), from Greek geometres "land-measurer" (see geometry).ETD geometer (n.).2

    geometric (adj.)

    1620s, "pertaining to geometry," shortened form of geometrical (q.v.). In reference to a style of ancient Greek pottery decoration characterized by straight lines and angles, and the associated culture, 1902.ETD geometric (adj.).2

    geometrical (adj.)

    late 14c., from Latin geometricus "of geometry" (from geometria; see geometry) + -al. Since 16c. it has been opposed to arithmetical in ratio, proportion, etc., reflecting the fact that problems of multiplication formerly were dealt with by geometry, not arithmetic. Related: Geometrically.ETD geometrical (adj.).2

    geometry (n.)

    early 14c., also gemetrie, gemetry, from Old French geometrie (12c., Modern French géométrie), from Latin geometria, from Greek geometria "measurement of earth or land; geometry," from combining form of "earth, land" (see Gaia) + -metria "a measuring of" (see -metry). Old English used eorðcræft "earth-craft" as a loan-translation of Latin geometria.ETD geometry (n.).2

    geomorphology (n.)

    1888, from geo- + morphology. Form geomorphy is from 1889. Related: Geomorphological; geomorphologically; geomorphologist.ETD geomorphology (n.).2

    geophagy (n.)

    "dirt-eating," 1820, from Greek *geophagia (according to OED the actual Greek is geotragia), from geo-, combining form of "earth" (see Gaia) + phagein "to eat." See also pica (n.2).ETD geophagy (n.).2

    geophysics (n.)

    1885, from geo- "earth" + physics.ETD geophysics (n.).2

    geophysical (adj.)

    "relating to the physics of the earth," 1885; see geophysics + -al (1).ETD geophysical (adj.).2

    geopolitical (adj.)

    1902, from geo- + political, translating Swedish geopolitisk, which was used in 1900 by Swedish political scientist Rudolf Kjellén (1864-1922). Related: Geopolitics (1903).ETD geopolitical (adj.).2


    Scottish and northern English dialectal diminutive of masc. proper name George.ETD Geordie.2


    masc. personal name, from French Georges, Late Latin Georgius, from Greek Georgos "husbandman, farmer," properly an adjective, "tilling the ground," from "earth" (see Gaia) + -ergos "that works," from ergon "work" (from PIE root *werg- "to do").ETD George.2

    The name introduced in England by the Crusaders (a vision of St. George played a key role in the First Crusade), but not common until after the Hanoverian succession (18c.). St. George began to be recognized as patron of England in time of Edward III, perhaps because of his association with the Order of the Garter (see garter). His feast day is April 23. The legend of his combat with the dragon is first found in "Legenda Aurea" (13c.). The exclamation by (St.) George! is recorded from 1590s.ETD George.3


    the U.S. state was named 1732 as a colony for King George II of Great Britain. The Caucasian nation is so-called for St. George, who is its patron saint (his cult there may continue that of a pre-Christian deity with whom he later was identified), but the name in that place also is said to derive from Arabic or Persian Kurj, or Gurz (the form in the earliest sources, Russian Grusia), which is said to be a name of the native people, of unknown origin. In modern Georgia, the name of the country is Sakartvelo and the people's name is Kartveli. Georgia pine, long-leafed pine of the Southern U.S. states, is from 1796.ETD Georgia.2

    Georgian (adj.)

    1855 in reference to the reigns of the first four kings George of England (1714-1830), especially in reference to the decorative style of the era of the first two. From c. 1600 as "pertaining to Georgia" in the Caucasus; 1762 as "pertaining to Georgia" in America; the noun in this sense is c. 1400 (Caucasus), 1741 (America).ETD Georgian (adj.).2

    georgic (n.)

    "poem of rural or agricultural life," 1510s, Georgics, title of Virgil's poems on rural life, from Latin georgica, from georgicus (adj.), from Greek georgikos "of a husbandman, agricultural," from "earth" (see Gaia) + -ourgia "a working," from ergon "work" (from PIE root *werg- "to do"). As an adjective meaning "related to agriculture" from 1711.ETD georgic (n.).2

    geosphere (n.)

    1885, from geo- "earth," probably on model of atmosphere.ETD geosphere (n.).2

    geosyncline (n.)

    1895, probably a back-formation from adjective geosynclinal (1879); see geo- + synclinal. Geosynclinal was used as a noun meaning "a region of depression" from 1873.ETD geosyncline (n.).2

    geothermal (adj.)

    1875, from geo- + thermal.ETD geothermal (adj.).2

    geotropism (n.)

    "growth downward," 1874, from geo- "earth" + -trope "a turn, direction" (from PIE root *trep- "to turn"), translating German Geotropismus (1868), which was coined in 1868 by German botanist Albert Bernhard Frank. Related: Geotropic.ETD geotropism (n.).2


    Proto-Indo-European root meaning "to gather."ETD *ger-.2

    It forms all or part of: aggregate; aggregation; agora; agoraphobia; allegory; category; congregate; cram; egregious; gregarious; panegyric; paregoric; segregate.ETD *ger-.3

    It is the hypothetical source of/evidence for its existence is provided by: Sanskrit gramah "heap, troop;" Greek ageirein "to assemble," agora "assembly;" Latin grex "flock, herd," gremium "bosom, lap;" Old Church Slavonic grusti "handful," gramota "heap;" Lithuanian gurgulys "chaos, confusion," gurguolė "crowd, mass;" Old English crammian "press something into something else."ETD *ger-.4


    masc. proper name, introduced into England by the Normans, from Old French Giralt, from Old High German Gerwald, "spear-wielder," from Proto-Germanic *girald, from *ger "spear" (see gar) + base of waltan "to rule" (cognate with Old English wealdan; from PIE root *wal- "to be strong"). The name often was confused with Gerard.ETD Gerald.2


    fem. proper name, fem. form of Gerald.ETD Geraldine.2

    geranium (n.)

    1540s, from Latin geranium, from Greek geranion, the plant name, diminutive of geranos "crane" (cognate with Latin grus; see crane (n.)). So called from shape resemblance of seed pods to cranes' bills; the native name in English also was cranebill. As a color name from 1842.ETD geranium (n.).2


    masc. proper name, from Old French Gerart (Modern French Gérard), of Germanic origin; compare Old High German Gerhard, literally "strong with the spear," from ger "spear" (see gar) + hart "hard" (from PIE root *kar- "hard").ETD Gerard.2

    geratology (n.)

    "study of decadence" in a species, etc., 1876, from Greek gēras (genitive gēratos) "old age" (see geriatric) + -logy. Related: Geratologic.ETD geratology (n.).2

    gerbera (n.)

    1880, from Modern Latin (1737), named for German naturalist Traugott Gerber (1710-1743).ETD gerbera (n.).2

    gerbil (n.)

    1849, gerbile, from French gerbille, from Modern Latin Gerbillus, the genus name, from gerbo, from Arabic yarbu. Earlier English form, jarbuah (1660s), was directly from Arabic.ETD gerbil (n.).2

    *gere- (1)

    *gerə-, Proto-Indo-European root meaning "to grow old." It forms all or part of: geriatric; geriatrics; gerontocracy; gerontology.ETD *gere- (1).2

    It is the hypothetical source of/evidence for its existence is provided by: Sanskrit jara "old age," jarati "makes frail, causes to age;" Avestan zaurvan "old age;" Greek geron "old man;" Ossetic zarond "old man;" Armenian cer "old, old man."ETD *gere- (1).3

    geriatrics (n.)

    coined 1909 by Austrian-born doctor Ignatz L. Nascher (1863-1944) in "New York Medical Journal" on the model of pediatrics from geriatric (q.v.). Also see -ics. The correct formation would be gerontiatrics.ETD geriatrics (n.).2

    geriatric (adj.)

    1909, formed in English from Latinized forms of Greek gēras, gērōs "old age" (from PIE root *gere- (1) "to grow old") + iatrikos "of a physician," from iatros (see -iatric).ETD geriatric (adj.).2

    germ (n.)

    mid-15c., "bud, sprout;" 1640s, "rudiment of a new organism in an existing one," from French germe "germ (of egg); bud, seed, fruit; offering," from Latin germen (genitive germinis) "spring, offshoot; sprout, bud," which is of uncertain origin, perhaps from PIE root *gene- "give birth, beget," with derivatives referring to procreation and familial and tribal groups.ETD germ (n.).2

    The older sense is preserved in wheat germ and germ of an idea; sense of "seed of a disease" first recorded 1796 in English; that of "harmful micro-organism" dates from 1871. Germ warfare is recorded from 1919.ETD germ (n.).3

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