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[jen-uh-rey-shuh n] /ˌdʒɛn əˈreɪ ʃən/

the entire body of individuals born and living at about the same time:
the postwar generation.
the term of years, roughly 30 among human beings, accepted as the average period between the birth of parents and the birth of their offspring.
a group of individuals, most of whom are the same approximate age, having similar ideas, problems, attitudes, etc.
Compare , .
a group of individuals belonging to a specific category at the same time:
Chaplin belonged to the generation of silent-screen stars.
a single step in natural descent, as of human beings, animals, or plants.
a form, type, class, etc., of objects existing at the same time and having many similarities or developed from a common model or ancestor (often used in combination): a new generation of anticancer drugs;
a third-generation phone.
the offspring of a certain parent or couple, considered as a step in natural descent.
the act or process of generating; procreation.
the state of being generated.
production by natural or artificial processes; evolution, as of heat or sound.

Mathematics. the production of a geometrical figure by the motion of another figure.
Physics. one of the successive sets of nuclei produced in a chain reaction.
(in duplicating processes, as photocopying, film, etc.) the distance in duplicating steps that a copy is from the original work.
the act or process of bringing into being; production or reproduction, esp of offspring

the normal or average time between two such generations of a species: about 35 years for humans
a phase or form in the life cycle of a plant or animal characterized by a particular type of reproduction: the gametophyte generation
all the people of approximately the same age, esp when considered as sharing certain attitudes, etc
production of electricity, heat, etc
(physics) a set of nuclei formed directly from a preceding set in a chain reaction
(modifier, in combination)


early 14c., “body of individuals born about the same period” (usually 30 years), from Old French generacion (12c.) and directly from Latin generationem (nominative generatio) “generating, generation,” noun of action from past participle stem of generare “bring forth” (see genus). Meanings “act or process of procreation,” “process of being formed,” “offspring of the same parent” are late 14c.

Generation gap first recorded 1967; generation x is 1991, from Douglas Coupland book of that name; generation y attested by 1994. Related: Generational. Adjectival phrase first-generation, second-generation, etc. with reference to U.S. immigrants is from 1896.

generation gen·er·a·tion (jěn’ə-rā’shən)


Gen. 2:4, “These are the generations,” means the “history.” 5:1, “The book of the generations,” means a family register, or history of Adam. 37:2, “The generations of Jacob” = the history of Jacob and his descendants. 7:1, “In this generation” = in this age. Ps. 49:19, “The generation of his fathers” = the dwelling of his fathers, i.e., the grave. Ps. 73:15, “The generation of thy children” = the contemporary race. Isa. 53:8, “Who shall declare his generation?” = His manner of life who shall declare? or rather = His race, posterity, shall be so numerous that no one shall be able to declare it. In Matt. 1:17, the word means a succession or series of persons from the same stock. Matt. 3:7, “Generation of vipers” = brood of vipers. 24:34, “This generation” = the persons then living contemporary with Christ. 1 Pet. 2:9, “A chosen generation” = a chosen people. The Hebrews seem to have reckoned time by the generation. In the time of Abraham a generation was an hundred years, thus: Gen. 15:16, “In the fourth generation” = in four hundred years (comp. verse 13 and Ex. 12:40). In Deut. 1:35 and 2:14 a generation is a period of thirty-eight years.


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  • Generation c

    noun 1. the people who create and publish material such as blogs, podcasts, videos, etc, on the internet

  • Generation-gap

    noun 1. a lack of communication between one generation and another, especially between young people and their parents, brought about by differences of tastes, values, outlook, etc. noun 1. the years separating one generation from the generation that precedes or follows it, esp when regarded as representing the difference in outlook and the lack of […]

  • Generation jones

    noun 1. members of the generation of people born in the Western world between the mid-1950s and the mid-1960s

  • Generation xl

    noun 1. (informal, facetious) overweight children or young adults of the generation that spends a great deal of time on sedentary pursuits such as surfing the internet and playing computer games

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