from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition
- n. A patrilineal clan of ancient Rome composed of several families of the same name claiming a common ancestor and belonging to a common religious cult.
- n. Anthropology An exogamous patrilineal clan.
from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License
- n. A legally defined unit of Roman society closest in meaning to and translated by English clan, but not identical to it. The gens was a collection of families whose members were related by birth, marriage or adoption. All the families were considered to have descended from a common clan ancestor although in cases where the time from the ancestor to the contemporary time was great the kinship was more remote than is meant by the English term "related." In such cases the legal definition still prevailed.
- n. a tribal subgroup whose members are characterized by having the same descent, usually along the male line
- abbr. generations
from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English
- n. A clan or family connection, embracing several families of the same stock, who had a common name and certain common religious rites; a subdivision of the Roman curia or tribe.
- n. A minor subdivision of a tribe, among American aborigines. It includes those who have a common descent, and bear the same totem.
from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- n. In ancient Rome, a clan or house embracing several families claiming descent from a common ancestor, united by a common name and by certain religious rites and legal privileges and obligations, but not necessarily by consanguinity: as, the Fabian gens, all bearing the name Fabius; the Julian gens, all named Julius; the Cornelian gens, etc.
- n. In historical and ethnological use, a tribe or clan; any community of persons in a primitive state of society constituting a distinct or independent branch of a general aggregate or race.
from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.
- n. family based on male descent
Page 103. 3. vieilles gens: attributive adjectives are generally _feminine_ when preceding and _masculine_ when following _gens_.
Her name is that of a brahmin gens – the Vāseṭṭhas – yet she is not called a brahmin in her own legend.
The generic label gens du voyage (travelers) covers not only tsigane (roughly "gypsies"), who went to France over the centuries, but also manouches who arrived from Germany in the 19th century, Spanish-origin gitanes and the more recent Roma.
So we have here a complete organization according to the terms of ancient society: that is, the gens, phratry, tribe, and confederacy of tribes.
It is known that a tribe of Indians is divided into smaller bands, which are called gens or clans.
The gens is the unit of social organization; which fact must be constantly borne in mind in considering their laws.
The council of the gens is the supreme ruling power in the gens.
And do you know that these enemies wear shakos, and are called gens d'armes?
The fact has been observed, in an earlier work, that only through the gens was the organization of society possible.
The familia is thus an economic unit, developed out of the gens, which is a unit of kin and little more.
Wordnik is becoming a not-for-profit! Read our announcement here.