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February 8, 2019 Tweet Word of the Week Like Word of the Week on Facebook
Word of the Week--"gender"
Definition--in many languages, a system of dividing nouns and pronouns into different classes, often, but not necessarily, related to the sex of the persons and things denoted; the condition of being male or female, one's sex.
Discussion--In modern American society, the word "gender" has come to denote the cultural and societal (as opposed to biological) categories of man and woman. The word "sex," on the other hand, generally refers to the physiological distinction between these two groups.

The word "gender" is often seen as a component of terms like "gender roles," "gender issues" and "gender discrimination." These terms all refer to societal constructs. However, "gender" is also the root of the word "engender," which means "to bring into existence" or "to procreate." This gets back to the biological state "of being male or female," and the physical union of the sexes.

Etymology--The term gender is borrowed from the stem of the Latin genus, meaning kind or sort. "Gender" first referred to a grammatical class of nouns, pronouns and verbs. Later, it took on the meaning of kind, sort or class of individuals or things.

French, German, Italian and Spanish below show similar roots.

   Foreign Translations
German:  Genus (nt)
Dutch:  geslacht (grammatical)(het)
French:  genre (m)
Italian:  genere
Spanish:  genero

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