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early 14c., "body of individuals born about the same period" (usually 30 years), from Old French generacion (12c.) and directly from Latin generationem (nominative generatio) "generating, generation," noun of action from past participle stem of generare "bring forth" (see genus). Meanings "act or process of procreation," "process of being formed," "offspring of the same parent" are late 14c.
Generation gap first recorded 1967; generation x is 1991, from Douglas Coupland book of that name; generation y attested by 1994. Related: Generational. Adjectival phrase first-generation, second-generation, etc. with reference to U.S. immigrants is from 1896.
generation gen·er·a·tion (jěn'ə-rā'shən)
A form or stage in the life cycle of an organism.
All of the offspring that are at the same stage of descent from a common ancestor.
The average interval of time between the birth of parents and the birth of their offspring.
A group of individuals born and living about the same time.
A group of generally contemporaneous individuals regarded as having common cultural or social characteristics and attitudes.
The act or process of generating; origination, production, or procreation.
Gen. 2:4, "These are the generations," means the "history." 5:1, "The book of the generations," means a family register, or history of Adam. 37:2, "The generations of Jacob" = the history of Jacob and his descendants. 7:1, "In this generation" = in this age. Ps. 49:19, "The generation of his fathers" = the dwelling of his fathers, i.e., the grave. Ps. 73:15, "The generation of thy children" = the contemporary race. Isa. 53:8, "Who shall declare his generation?" = His manner of life who shall declare? or rather = His race, posterity, shall be so numerous that no one shall be able to declare it. In Matt. 1:17, the word means a succession or series of persons from the same stock. Matt. 3:7, "Generation of vipers" = brood of vipers. 24:34, "This generation" = the persons then living contemporary with Christ. 1 Pet. 2:9, "A chosen generation" = a chosen people. The Hebrews seem to have reckoned time by the generation. In the time of Abraham a generation was an hundred years, thus: Gen. 15:16, "In the fourth generation" = in four hundred years (comp. verse 13 and Ex. 12:40). In Deut. 1:35 and 2:14 a generation is a period of thirty-eight years.