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[yoo-jen-iks] /yuˈdʒɛn ɪks/

noun, (used with a singular verb)
the study of or belief in the possibility of improving the qualities of the human species or a human population, especially by such means as discouraging reproduction by persons having genetic defects or presumed to have inheritable undesirable traits (negative eugenics) or encouraging reproduction by persons presumed to have inheritable desirable traits (positive eugenics)
(functioning as sing) the study of methods of improving the quality of the human race, esp by selective breeding

1883, coined (along with adjective eugenic) by English scientist Francis Galton (1822-1911) on analogy of ethics, physics, etc. from Greek eugenes “well-born, of good stock, of noble race,” from eu- “good” (see eu-) + genos “birth” (see genus).

The investigation of human eugenics, that is, of the conditions under which men of a high type are produced. [Galton, “Human Faculty,” 1883]

eugenics eu·gen·ics (yōō-jěn’ĭks)
The study of hereditary improvement of the human race by controlled selective breeding.
eugenics [(yooh-jen-iks)]

The idea that one can improve the human race by careful selection of those who mate and produce offspring.

Note: Eugenics was a popular theory in the early twentieth century but is no longer taken seriously, primarily because of the horrors of the eugenic efforts of the Nazi regime in Germany.


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  • Eugenist

    [yoo-jen-uh-sist] /yuˈdʒɛn ə sɪst/ noun 1. a specialist in eugenics. 2. an advocate of measures.

  • Eugenius

    [yoo-jee-nee-uh s, -jeen-yuh s] /yuˈdʒi ni əs, -ˈdʒin yəs/ noun 1. Saint, died a.d. 657, pope 654–657. noun 1. died a.d. 827, Italian ecclesiastic: pope 824–827. noun 1. (Bernardo Pignatelli or Paganelli) died 1153, Italian ecclesiastic: pope 1145–53. noun 1. (Gabriele or Gabriel Condolmieri or Condulmer) 1383–1447, Italian ecclesiastic: pope 1431–47.

  • Eugenius I

    [yoo-jee-nee-uh s, -jeen-yuh s] /yuˈdʒi ni əs, -ˈdʒin yəs/ noun 1. Saint, died a.d. 657, pope 654–657.

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