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generation definition


This page has 15 definitions of generation with English translations in 4 languages. Generation is a noun. Examples of how to use generation in a sentence are shown. Also define these 25 related words and terms: creating, production, creation, organism, procreation, ה, he, sterile, race, family, breed, succession, rank, degree, genealogy, descendants, progeny, offspring, computing, technology, geometry, television, recording, degrade, and generation.

See also: Generation and génération

English generation definition


From Anglo-Norman generacioun, Middle French generacion, and their source, Latin generātiō, from generāre, present active infinitive of generō (to beget, generate). Compare generate.



generation (countable and uncountable, plural generations)

  1. The act of creating something or bringing something into being; production, creation. [from 14th c.]
    • 1832, Charles Lyell, Principles of Geology, II:
      The generation of peat, when not completely under water, is confined to moist situations.
  2. The act of creating a living creature or organism; procreation. [from 14th c.]
    • 1596, Edmund Spenser, The Faerie Queene, IV.10:
      So all things else, that nourish vitall blood, / Soone as with fury thou doest them inspire, / In generation seek to quench their inward fire.
    • 1626, Francis Bacon, Sylva Sylvarum:
      Generation by Copulation (certainly) extendeth not to Plants.
    • 1658, Thomas Browne, “The Garden of Cyrus. []. Chapter V.”, in Hydriotaphia, Urne-buriall, [] Together with The Garden of Cyrus, [], London: [] Hen[ry] Brome [], OCLC 48702491; reprinted as Hydriotaphia (The English Replicas), New York, N.Y.: Payson & Clarke Ltd., 1927, OCLC 78413388, page 192:
      According to that Cabaliſticall Dogma: If Abram had not had this Letter [i.e., ה(he)] added unto his Name he had remained fruitleſſe, and without the power of generation: [] So that being ſterill before, he received the power of generation from that meaſure and manſion in the Archetype; and was made conformable unto Binah.
    • ה definition
      he, hei: the fifth letter of the Hebrew alphabet, after ד‎ and before ו‎. (1 of 2 ה definitions)
  3. (now US, dialectal) Race, family; breed. [from 14th c.]
    • c. 1605, William Shakespeare, Timon of Athens, First Folio 1623, I.3:
      Thy Mothers of my generation: what's she, if I be a Dogge?
  4. A single step or stage in the succession of natural descent; a rank or degree in genealogy, the members of a family from the same parents, considered as a single unit. [from 14th c.]
    This is the book of the generations of Adam - Genesis 5:1
    Ye shall remain there [in Babylon] many years, and for a long season, namely, seven generations - Baruch 6:3
    All generations and ages of the Christian church - Richard Hooker
    • Rank definition
      The symbol for rank.
  5. (obsolete) Descendants, progeny; offspring. [15th-19th c.]
  6. The average amount of time needed for children to grow up and have children of their own, generally considered to be a period of around thirty years, used as a measure of time. [from 17th c.]
    • 2008, Edgar Thorpe, Objective English:
      Before the independence of India the books of Dr P. K. Yadav presented a fundamental challenge to the accepted ideas of race relations that, two generations later, will be true of the writings of the radical writers of the 1970s.
  7. A set stage in the development of computing or of a specific technology. [from 20th c.]
    • 2009, Paul Deital, Harvey Deital and Abbey Deital, iPhone for Programmers:
      The first-generation iPhone was released in June 2007 and was an instant blockbuster success.
  8. (geometry) The formation or production of any geometrical magnitude, as a line, a surface, a solid, by the motion, in accordance with a mathematical law, of a point or a magnitude, by the motion of a point, of a surface by a line, a sphere by a semicircle, etc.
    the generation of a line or curve
  9. A group of people born in a specific range of years and whose members can relate culturally to one another.
    Generation X grew up in the eighties, whereas the generation known as the millennials grew up in the nineties.
  10. A version of a form of pop culture which differs from later or earlier versions.
    People sometimes dispute which generation of Star Trek is best, including the original and The Next Generation.
  11. (television) A copy of a recording made from an earlier copy and thus further degraded in quality.
    • 2014, K. G. Jackson, G. B. Townsend, TV & Video Engineer's Reference Book
      With one-inch C format or half-inch Betacam used in the component mode, quality loss through additional generations is not such a problem. In this situation, it would be usual to make the necessary alterations while re-recording onto a third generation master []
    • 2002, Keith Jack, Vladimir Tsatsoulin, Dictionary of Video and Television Technology (page 131)
      Each generation away from the original or master produces increased degradation in the image quality.
    • Television definition
      An electronic communication medium that allows the transmission of real-time visual images, and often sound. (1 of 4 television definitions)


Hyponyms of generation (noun)

Derived terms

Related terms


The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables, removing any numbers. Numbers do not necessarily match those in definitions. See instructions at Dictionary:Entry layout § Translations.

Further reading


Danish generation definition


generation c (singular definite generationen, plural indefinite generationer)

  1. generation (organisms or devices born or designed at the same time)


Further reading

Middle French generation definition


Borrowed from Latin generatio.


generation f (plural generations)

  1. generation (procreation; begetting)
  2. generation (rank or degree in genealogy)

Swedish generation definition


generation c

  1. a generation


Declension of generation 
Singular Plural
Indefinite Definite Indefinite Definite
Nominative generation generationen generationer generationerna
Genitive generations generationens generationers generationernas

Related terms

  • generera
  • generationsväxling
  • ungdomsgeneration