Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • transitive v. To bring into being; give rise to: generate a discussion.
  • transitive v. To produce as a result of a chemical or physical process: generate heat.
  • transitive v. To engender (offspring); procreate.
  • transitive v. Mathematics To form (a geometric figure) by describing a curve or surface.
  • transitive v. Computer Science To produce (a program) by instructing a computer to follow given parameters with a skeleton program.
  • transitive v. Linguistics To construct (a sentence, for example), as in generative grammar.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • v. To bring into being; give rise to.
  • v. To produce as a result of a chemical or physical process.
  • v. To procreate, beget.
  • v. To form a figure from a curve or solid.
  • v. To appear or occur; be generated.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • transitive v. To beget; to procreate; to propagate; to produce (a being similar to the parent); to engender.
  • transitive v. To cause to be; to bring into life.
  • transitive v. To originate, especially by a vital or chemical process; to produce; to cause.
  • transitive v. To trace out, as a line, figure, or solid, by the motion of a point or a magnitude of inferior order.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • To beget; procreate; engender by sexual union.
  • To produce; cause to be; bring into life.
  • To cause; form; give origin to.
  • In mathematics, to give rise to, as to a geometrical figure; especially, to move so that the locus of the motion shall constitute (the figure specified): thus, a right line moving with one point fixed generates a conical surface.
  • To produce; evolve; as electricity, force, friction, gas, heat, light, velocity, etc.
  • In music, of a tone fundamental to a chord, to suggest or fix (the remaining tones of the harmony).

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

  • v. give or supply
  • v. make children
  • v. produce (energy)
  • v. bring into existence

Etymologies

Latin generāre, generāt-, to produce, from genus, gener-, birth; see genə- in Indo-European roots.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Latin generātus, perfect passive participle of generō ("beget, procreate, produce"), from genus ("a kind, race, family"); see genus. (Wiktionary)

Examples

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