Entries linking to -genic
word-forming element technically meaning "something produced," but mainly, in modern use, "thing that produces or causes," from French -gène (18c.), from Greek -genes "born of, produced by," which is from the same source as genos "birth," genea "race, family," from PIE root *gene- "give birth, beget," with derivatives referring to procreation and familial and tribal groups. First used in late 18th century French chemistry (see oxygen), it probably involves a misunderstanding of -genes, as though it meant "that which produces."
Middle English -ik, -ick, word-forming element making adjectives, "having to do with, having the nature of, being, made of, caused by, similar to," from French -ique and directly from Latin -icus or from cognate Greek -ikos "in the manner of; pertaining to." From PIE adjective suffix *-(i)ko, which also yielded Slavic -isku, adjectival suffix indicating origin, the source of the -sky (Russian -skii) in many surnames. In chemistry, indicating a higher valence than names in -ous (first in benzoic, 1791).
In Middle English and after often spelled -ick, -ike, -ique. Variant forms in -ick (critick, ethick) were common in early Modern English and survived in English dictionaries into early 19c. This spelling was supported by Johnson but opposed by Webster, who prevailed.
updated on January 30, 2015