Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • noun The people born and living about the same time, considered as a group.
  • noun The average interval of time between the birth of parents and the birth of their offspring.
  • noun All of the offspring that are at the same stage of descent from a common ancestor.
  • noun Biology A form or stage in the life cycle of an organism.
  • noun A stage or period of sequential technological development and innovation.
  • noun A class of objects derived from a preceding class.
  • noun The formation of a line or geometric figure by the movement of a point or line.
  • noun The act or process of generating; origination, production, or procreation.
  • noun Physics Any of three groups of fundamental fermions, each containing two quarks and two leptons, together with their associated antiparticles, corresponding members of which differ in mass and lifetime. The first or electron generation consists of the down quark, up quark, electron, and electron neutrino lepton. The second or muon generation consists of the strange quark, charm quark, muon, and muon neutrino lepton. The third or tauon generation consists of the bottom quark, top quark, muon, and muon neutrino lepton.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun The act, process, or function of generating or begetting; procreation; propagation; reproduction; multiplication of kind.
  • noun In theology, the communication of the Divine Essence from God the Father to God the Son.
  • noun A bringing out or forth; evolution, as from a source or cause; production, especially by some natural process or causation: as, the generation of sounds.
  • noun In mathematics, the description of a geometrical figure by the motion of a point, line, plane, or figure, in accordance with a mathematical law. Also genesis.
  • noun That which is generated; progeny; offspring.
  • noun A single succession of living beings in natural descent, as the offspring or descendants in the same degree of the same parents.
  • noun The whole body of persons of the same period or living at the same time: as, the present generation.
  • noun Family; race; kind; by extension, any allied or associated group of persons; a class.
  • noun The age or period of a generation; hence, the average lifetime of all persons of synchronous age.
  • noun Same as spontaneous generation
  • noun The individuals of a given mineral species which have been formed at the same time and under similar conditions, as in the solidification of an igneous rock, or the deposits in a mineral vein.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • noun The act of generating or begetting; procreation, as of animals.
  • noun Origination by some process, mathematical, chemical, or vital; production; formation
  • noun That which is generated or brought forth; progeny; offspiring.
  • noun A single step or stage in the succession of natural descent; a rank or remove in genealogy. Hence: The body of those who are of the same genealogical rank or remove from an ancestor; the mass of beings living at one period; also, the average lifetime of man, or the ordinary period of time at which one rank follows another, or father is succeeded by child, usually assumed to be one third of a century; an age.
  • noun Race; kind; family; breed; stock.
  • noun (Geom.) 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
  • noun (Biol.) The aggregate of the functions and phenomene which attend reproduction.
  • noun (Biol.) alternation of sexual with asexual generation, in which the products of one process differ from those of the other, -- a form of reproduction common both to animal and vegetable organisms. In the simplest form, the organism arising from sexual generation produces offspiring unlike itself, agamogenetically. These, however, in time acquire reproductive organs, and from their impregnated germs the original parent form is reproduced. In more complicated cases, the first series of organisms produced agamogenetically may give rise to others by a like process, and these in turn to still other generations. Ultimately, however, a generation is formed which develops sexual organs, and the original form is reproduced.
  • noun (Biol.) the fancied production of living organisms without previously existing parents from inorganic matter, or from decomposing organic matter, a notion which at one time had many supporters; abiogenesis.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • noun The act of generating or begetting; procreation, as of animals.
  • noun Origination by some process, mathematical, chemical, or vital; production; formation; as, the generation of sounds, of gases, of curves, etc
  • noun That which is generated or brought forth; progeny; offspring.
  • noun A period of around thirty years, the average amount of time before a child takes the place of its parents.
  • noun A single step or stage in the succession of natural descent; a rank or remove in genealogy, or collectively the body of people who are of the same genealogical rank or remove from an ancestor; the mass of beings living at one time.
  • noun Race; kind; family; breed; stock.
  • noun 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; as, the generation of a line or curve by the motion of a point, of a surface by a line, a sphere by a semicircle, etc.
  • noun biology The aggregate of the functions and phenomena which attend reproduction.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • noun all the people living at the same time or of approximately the same age
  • noun the production of heat or electricity
  • noun the act of producing offspring or multiplying by such production
  • noun the normal time between successive generations
  • noun group of genetically related organisms constituting a single step in the line of descent
  • noun a coming into being
  • noun a stage of technological development or innovation

Etymologies

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Middle English generacioun, from Old French generacion, from Latin generātiō, from generāre, present active infinitive of generō ("to beget, generate"); see generate.

Examples

  • But where, as in the present section, we treat the descent theory apart from the evolution theory, we have also to think of the possibility that the species or groups of species are not originated through gradual development, but nevertheless do originate through descent -- namely, in leaps through metamorphosis of germs or a heterogenetic generation; and for such an idea we find confirmation in the {74} observation of the history of development of animals, which we call _change of generation_ or

    The Theories of Darwin and Their Relation to Philosophy, Religion, and Morality

  • It might be safe and legitimate enough, when we find a fossil organism imbedded in the earth, to ascribe its production to the ordinary law of generation, even although we had not witnessed the fact of its birth, provided the same species is known to have existed previously; but when we find _new races_ coming into being, for which the ordinary law of derivation cannot account, we are not at liberty to apply the same rule to a case so essentially different, and still less to postulate _a spontaneous generation_, or a _transmutation of species_, for which we have no experience at all.

    Modern Atheism under its forms of Pantheism, Materialism, Secularism, Development, and Natural Laws

  • $self = ~ s / my \$generation = (\d+); / 'my $generation ='.

    Refinance 2nd Mortgage

  • $self = ~ s / my \$generation = (\d+); / 'my $generation ='.

    Refinance 2nd Mortgage

  • I prefer to reflect on the cops at their listening post (in the bread van?) hearing the ancient prayers: "Not in one generation alone have they risen against us, but in every generation….

    On Being Busted at Fifty

  • Individual traits are not transmitted from the hen to the egg, but they develop out of germinal factors which are carried along from _cell to cell, and from generation to generation_ ....”

    Manhood of Humanity.

  • The term generation is used in reference to birth cohorts, a group of individuals born at the same general period of time.

    The Population of the United States

  • Years before the term "generation gap" was coined, "Hound Dog" drew the line between the new and the old.

    NYT > Home Page

  • Years before the term "generation gap" was coined, "Hound Dog" drew the line between the new and the old.

    NYT > Home Page

  • In this column I will use the term generation 2 garbage collection instead of full garbage collection, but they are interchangeable.

    MSDN Magazine: RSS Feed

Comments

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  • I can read this word without thinking about The Who song.

    October 14, 2007

  • Serious question: How do you measure a "generation"?

    April 26, 2008

  • I don't think you can, which is why we have those interminable op-ed wars.

    April 26, 2008

  • I think it's usually considered roughly 20-25 years. But not in terms of identity--that's what the op-ed wars are about--and more in terms of ... I don't know ... genealogy.

    April 27, 2008