gens

gens

[jenz]
noun, plural gentes [jen-teez] .
1.
a group of families in ancient Rome claiming descent from a common ancestor and united by a common name and common ancestral religious rites.
2.
Anthropology. a group tracing common descent in the male line; clan.

Origin:
1840–50; < Latin gēns race, people. See genus, gender1, gender2

subgens, noun, plural subgentes.
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World English Dictionary
gens (dʒɛnz)
 
n , pl gentes
1.  (in ancient Rome) any of a group of aristocratic families, having a common name and claiming descent from a common ancestor in the male line
2.  anthropol a group based on descent in the male line
 
[C19: from Latin: race; compare genus, gender]

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Word Origin & History

gens
1847, in reference to ancient Rome, "tribe, clan," from L. gens (gen. gentis) "race, clan, nation" (see genus).
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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