gens definition by Webster's New World
Webster's New World College Dictionary Copyright © 2010 by Wiley Publishing, Inc., Cleveland, Ohio. Used by arrangement with John Wiley & Sons, Inc.
noun pl. gentes
- in ancient Rome, a clan united by descent through the male line from a common ancestor and having both name and religious observances in common
- any tribe or clan; esp., an exogamous group claiming descent through the male line
Origin: Classical Latin origin, originally , that belonging together by birth ; from base of gignere, to beget: see genus
gens definition by American Heritage Dictionary
noun pl. gen·tes
- 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.
- Anthropology An exogamous patrilineal clan.
Origin: Latin gēns; see genə- in Indo-European roots.