1864, in anthropology, "the doctrine that the human race is not one but consists of many distinct species" (opposed to monogeny or monogenism), from Late Greek polygenēs "of many kinds," from polys "many" (see poly-) + -genēs "born" (from PIE root *gene- "give birth, beget"). By c. 1970 the same word was used in a different sense, in reference to the theory that multiple genes contribute to the form or variant of some particular trait of an organism. Another word for the anthropological theory was polygenism (1857).
colorless, odorless gaseous element, 1794, from French nitrogène, coined 1790 by French chemist Jean Antoine Chaptal (1756-1832), from Greek nitron "sodium carbonate" (see nitro-) + French gène "producing," from Greek -gen "giving birth to" (see -gen). The gas was identified in part by analysis of nitre. An earlier name for it was mephitic air (1772), and Lavoisier called it azote (see azo-). It forms about 78% of the weight of the Earth's atmosphere. Related: Nitrogenic; nitrogenous.
late 14c., "woman of royal or noble birth; daughter or wife of a ruler or prince; female ruler," a native formation; in some later instances from Old French princesse, fem. of prince (see prince). Compare Medieval Latin principissa, Italian principessa.
As a colloquial form of address to a woman or girl, it is recorded by 1924 (as a term of address to a lover, early 15c.). Princesse lointaine "ideal but unattainable woman" (literally "distant princess") is from the play by Rostand (1895) based on troubadour themes.
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.
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.
"upstart," 1802, from French parvenu, "said of an obscure person who has made a great fortune" (Littré); noun use of past participle of parvenir "to arrive" (12c.), from Latin pervenire "to come up, arrive, attain," from per- "through" (from PIE root *per- (1) "forward," hence "through") + venire "to come," from a suffixed form of PIE root *gwa- "to go, come." One newly arisen to notice, especially by an accident of fortune and beyond his birth or apparent deserts, but who is intent to persuade other people that he is entitled to it. As an adjective from 1828.
mid-15c., "lawfully begotten, born of parents legally married," from past participle of Old French legitimer and directly from Medieval Latin legitimatus, past participle of legitimare "make lawful, declare to be lawful," from Latin legitimus "lawful," originally "fixed by law, in line with the law," from lex (genitive legis) "law" (see legal). Transferred sense of "genuine, real" is attested from 1550s. Related: Legitimately; legitimateness. The older adjective in English was legitime "lawful, of legitimate birth" (late 14c.), from Old French legitime, from Latin legitimus.
late 14c., "member of the German race, person of German birth or ancestry," from Dutch (adj.) + man (n.). From 1590s in narrowed sense of "inhabitant of Holland or the Netherlands," though "Century Dictionary" as late as 1897 reports it "in the U.S. often locally applied to Germans, and sometimes to Scandinavians" (other 19c. sources also include Baltics).
From 1650s in nautical use as "Dutch ship." References to the ghost ship called the Flying Dutchman seem to begin late 18c. (see flying).
"class, sort, variety," from Old English gecynd "kind, nature, race," related to cynn "family" (see kin), from Proto-Germanic *kundjaz "family, race," from PIE root *gene- "give birth, beget," with derivatives referring to procreation and familial and tribal groups.
Ælfric's rendition of "the Book of Genesis" into Old English came out gecyndboc. The prefix disappeared 1150-1250. No exact cognates beyond English, but it corresponds to adjective endings such as Goth -kunds, Old High German -kund. Also in English as a suffix (mankind, etc., also compare godcund "divine"). Other earlier, now obsolete, senses included "character, quality derived from birth" and "manner or way natural or proper to anyone."
Phrase a kind of (1590s) indicating something like or similar to something else led to the colloquial extension as adverb (1804) in phrases such as kind of stupid "a kind of stupid (person), (one) not far from stupidity." However "good usage" once condemned as inaccurate the use as an adjective as in our kind of people, some kind of joke. All kinds is Old English alles cynnes, in Middle English sometimes contracted to alkins.