generation Meaning, Definition & Usage

  1. noun all the people living at the same time or of approximately the same age
    coevals; contemporaries.
  2. noun group of genetically related organisms constituting a single step in the line of descent
  3. noun the normal time between successive generations
    • they had to wait a generation for that prejudice to fade
  4. noun a stage of technological development or innovation
    • the third generation of computers
  5. noun a coming into being
  6. noun the production of heat or electricity
    • dams were built for the generation of electricity
  7. noun the act of producing offspring or multiplying by such production
    multiplication; propagation.


Gen`er*a"tion noun
OE. generacioun, F. génération, fr.L. generatio.
  1. The act of generating or begetting; procreation, as of animals.
  2. Origination by some process, mathematical, chemical, or vital; production; formation; as, the generation of sounds, of gases, of curves, etc.
  3. That which is generated or brought forth; progeny; offspiring.
  4. 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.
    This is the book of the generations of Adam. Gen. v. 1.
    Ye shall remain there [in Babylon] many years, and for a long season, namely, seven generations. Baruch vi. 3.
    All generations and ages of the Christian church. Hooker.
  5. Race; kind; family; breed; stock.
    Thy mother's of my generation; what's she, if I be a dog? Shak.
  6. (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; 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.
  7. (Biol.) The aggregate of the functions and phenomene which attend reproduction. ✍ There are four modes of generation in the animal kingdom: scissiparity or by fissiparous generation, gemmiparity or by budding, germiparity or by germs, and oviparity or by ova.

Webster 1913