Gens definition

jĕnz
Frequency:
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.
noun
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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.
noun
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(anthropology) An exogamous patrilineal clan.
noun
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Any tribe or clan; esp., an exogamous group claiming descent through the male line.
noun
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Generations.
abbreviation
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(historical) A legally defined unit of Roman society, being a collection of people related by birth, marriage or adoption, but allowing a greater amount of time between members and their common ancestor than is commonly implied by the term related.
noun
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(anthropology) A tribal subgroup whose members are characterized by having the same descent, usually along the male line.
noun
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Other Word Forms

Noun

Singular:
gens
Plural:
gentes, genses

Origin of gens

  • Latin gēns genə- in Indo-European roots

    From American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition

  • From Latin gēns (“gens; tribe, people”); see also gentile, gender, genus, generate.

    From Wiktionary

  • Shortened from generations.

    From Wiktionary