genuflection (n.) Look up genuflection at
"act of bending the knee," especially in worship, early 15c., from Middle French génuflexion (14c.) and directly 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" (see knee (n.)) + flectere "to bend" (see flexible).
genuflexion (n.) Look up genuflexion at
alternative form of genuflection; see -xion.
genuine (adj.) Look up genuine at
1590s, "natural, not acquired," from Latin genuinus "native, natural, innate," 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.
genus (n.) Look up genus at
(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 PIE root *gene- "to produce, give birth, beget," with derivatives referring to family and tribal groups.

Cognates in this highly productive word group include Sanskrit janati "begets, bears," janah "race," janman- "birth, origin," jatah "born;" Avestan zizanenti "they bear;" Greek gignesthai "to become, happen," genos "race, kind," gonos "birth, offspring, stock;" Latin gignere "to beget," gnasci "to be born," genius "procreative divinity, inborn tutelary spirit, innate quality," ingenium "inborn character," possibly germen "shoot, bud, embryo, germ;" Lithuanian gentis "kinsmen;" Gothic kuni "race;" Old English cennan "beget, create," gecynd "kind, nature, race;" Old High German kind "child;" Old Irish ro-genar "I was born;" Welsh geni "to be born;" Armenian chanim "I bear, I am born").
geo- Look up geo- at
word-forming element meaning "earth, the Earth," ultimately from Greek geo-, comb. form of Attic and Ionic ge "the earth, land, a land or country" (see Gaia).
geocentric (adj.) Look up geocentric at
"having reference to the Earth as its center," 1680s, from geo- + -centric. Related: Geocentrically; geocentrism (1882).
geochronology (n.) Look up geochronology at
also geo-chronology, 1890, probably based on earlier French and German geo-chronologie, from geo- + chronology.
geode (n.) Look up geode at
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 ge "earth" (Homeric gaia; see Gaia) + -oides, adjective suffix, "characterized by" (see -oid). Perhaps so called in reference to the rough crust in which the crystals are hidden. Related: Geodic.
geodesic (adj.) Look up geodesic at
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.
geodesy (n.) Look up geodesy at
1560s, "the art of land surveying," from Modern Latin geodaesia, from Greek geodaisia "division of the earth;" ultimately from ge "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.
geodetic (adj.) Look up geodetic at
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.
geoduck (n.) Look up geoduck at
edible Pacific clam, 1883, perhaps from an American Indian word.
Geoffrey Look up Geoffrey at
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" (see Frederick).
geographer (n.) Look up geographer at
"one versed in geography," 1540s, from geography + agent noun ending -er (1). The Greek word was geographos (Medieval Latin geographus).
geographic (adj.) Look up geographic at
1620s, shortened form of geographical (q.v.); in some cases probably from Middle French géographique or Late Latin geographicus.
geographical (adj.) Look up geographical at
"pertaining to geography," 1550s, from Late Latin geographicus (from Greek geographikos, from geographia; see geography) + -al (1). Related: Geographically.
geography (n.) Look up geography at
"the science of description of the earth's surface in its present condition," 1540s, from Middle French géographie (15c.), from Latin geographia, from Greek geographia "description of the earth's surface," from geo- "earth" + -graphia "description" (see -graphy).
geolatry (n.) Look up geolatry at
"earth-worship," 1860, from geo- + -latry. Related: Geolater.
geologic (adj.) Look up geologic at
1799, from geology + -ic. Geologic time is attested from 1846.
geological (adj.) Look up geological at
1791, from geology + -ical. Related: Geologically.
geologist (n.) Look up geologist at
1795, from geology + -ist. Alternatives are geologer (1822); geologian (1837).
geology (n.) Look up geology at
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.
geomancer (n.) Look up geomancer at
c. 1400, agent noun from geomancy.
geomancy (n.) Look up geomancy at
"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-, comb. form of ge "earth" (see Gaia) + manteia "divination" (see -mancy). Related: Geomantic; geomantical.
geometer (n.) Look up geometer at
"one skilled in geometry," late 15c., from Latin geometres (in Late Latin also geometra), from Greek geometres "land-measurer" (see geometry).
geometric (adj.) Look up geometric at
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.
geometrical (adj.) Look up geometrical at
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.
geometry (n.) Look up geometry at
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 comb. form of ge "earth, land" (see Gaia) + -metria (see -metry). Rendered in Old English as eorðcræft, "earth-craft."
geomorphology (n.) Look up geomorphology at
1888, from geo- + morphology. Form geomorphy is from 1889. Related: Geomorphological; geomorphologically; geomorphologist.
geophagy (n.) Look up geophagy at
"dirt-eating," 1820, from Greek *geophagia (according to OED the actual Greek is geotragia), from geo-, comb. form of ge "earth" (see Gaia) + phagein "to eat." See also pica (n.2).
A diseased appetite ... prevails in several parts of Alabama, where they eat clay. I heard various speculations on the origin of this singular propensity, called 'geophagy' in some medical books. [Lyell, "Second Visit to U.S.," 1850]
geophysical (adj.) Look up geophysical at
"relating to the physics of the earth," 1885; see geophysics + -al (1).
geophysics (n.) Look up geophysics at
1885, from geo- "earth" + physics.
geopolitical (adj.) Look up geopolitical at
1902, from geo- + political, translating Swedish geopolitisk, which was used in 1900 by Swedish political scientist Rudolf Kjellén (1864-1922). Related: Geopolitics (1903).
Geordie Look up Geordie at
Scottish and northern English dialectal diminutive of masc. proper name George.
George Look up George at
masc. personal name, from French Georges, Late Latin Georgius, from Greek Georgos "husbandman, farmer," properly an adjective, "tilling the ground," from ge "earth" (see Gaia) + ergon "work" (see organ). 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.
The cult of George reached its apogee in the later Middle Ages: by then not only England, but Venice, Genoa, Portugal, and Catalonia regarded him as their patron: for all he was the personification of the ideals of Christian chivalry. [The Oxford Dictionary of Saints]
Georgia Look up Georgia at
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.
Georgian (adj.) Look up Georgian at
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).
georgic (n.) Look up georgic at
"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 ge "earth" (see Gaia) + ergon "work" (see organ). As an adjective meaning "related to agriculture" from 1711.
geosphere (n.) Look up geosphere at
1885, from geo- "earth," probably on model of atmosphere.
geosyncline (n.) Look up geosyncline at
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.
geothermal (adj.) Look up geothermal at
1875, from geo- + thermal.
geotropism (n.) Look up geotropism at
"growth downward," 1874, from geo- "earth" + -trope "a turn, direction" (see trope), translating German Geotropismus (1868), which was coined in 1868 by German botanist Albert Bernhard Frank (1839-1900). Related: Geotropic.
Gerald Look up Gerald at
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; see wield). The name often was confused with Gerard.
Geraldine Look up Geraldine at
fem. proper name, fem. form of Gerald.
geranium (n.) Look up geranium at
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.
Gerard Look up Gerard at
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" (see hard).
geratology (n.) Look up geratology at
"study of decadence" in a species, etc., 1876, from Greek geras (genitive geratos) "old age" (see geriatric) + -logy. Related: Geratologic.
I have adopted this new term with considerable hesitation and doubt, and have only done so under the pressure of necessity. In no other way can I better convey my conviction that there is a traceable correspondence between all manifestations of decline in the individual and in the group to which the individual belongs, which may, like embryology, be used inductively in reasoning upon the probable affinities of animals. [A. Hyatt, paper on "Genetic Relations of Stephanoceras," read June 7, 1876, published in "Proceedings of the Boston Society of Natural History," vol. XVIII, 1877]
gerbera (n.) Look up gerbera at
1880, from Modern Latin (1737), named for German naturalist Traugott Gerber (1710-1743).
gerbil (n.) Look up gerbil at
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.
geriatric (adj.) Look up geriatric at
1909, formed in English from Latinized forms of Greek geras, geros "old age" (from PIE root *gere- (1) "to grow old;" see gerontology) + iatrikos "of a physician," from iatros (see -iatric).