The Meaning of Begotten: What It Is and How To Use It

Do you know the definition of begotten? This article will provide you with all of the information you need on the word begotten, including its definition, etymology, usage, example sentences, and more!

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What does the word begotten mean?

According to Collins English Dictionary and the American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, the word begotten is the past participle of the word beget, which means to have a child or to cause something to happen or be created. For example, those with human flesh beget human babies, birds beget little birds in a nest, and a beaver begets little beavers in a dam. Every species will beget a different kind of baby, and people can also beget things figuratively, such as grace, The word begotten is three syllables – be-got-ten, and the pronunciation of begotten is 

The word begotten is often used by Christians as it is used in the Bible to refer to the Son of God as His “only begotten Son” or God of God and Light of Light. According to STR, Jesus says, “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life” (John 3:16). God also referred to Abraham’s son Isaac as his only begotten son. He told him to, “Take your son, your only begotten son Isaac, whom you love, and go to the land of Moriah, and offer him there as a burnt offering on one of the mountains of which I shall tell you” (Gen. 22:2) In Hebrews, it also says that, “By faith Abraham, when he was tried, offered up Isaac: and he that had received the promises offered up his only begotten son…” (Heb. 11:17) This word is used in many verses to refer to a person’s son even when it is not their only son in the KJV Bible such as Abraham and Sarah with Ishmael and Isaac. This specific relationship is also used to refer to the Lord Jesus Christ as the only Son of the covenant. Many modern translators also have chosen to use “only” (ESV), or “one and only” (NIV, NLT, HCSB, NET) instead of “only begotten” (KJV, NASB) to avoid confusion. This term is used frequently throughout the Old Testament and New Testament in the gospel of John, second Psalm, to refer to Abraham’s only son, or the only son of Abraham born of the covenant, and more.

There are numerous different languages that contain words meaning begotten. In looking at this list of translations of begotten from Word Sense, you may notice that some of these words look and sound a lot like the word begotten. These are called cognates, which are often formed when two words have the same root or language of origin. 

  •  Russian: производи́ть пото́мство‎ (impf), произвести́ пото́мство‎ (pf), порожда́ть‎ (impf), породи́ть‎ (pf), рожа́ть‎ (impf), рожда́ть‎ (impf), роди́ть‎ (pf), производи́ть на свет‎, произвести́ на свет‎ (pf)
  •  Danish: (dated) avle‎
  •  Georgian: დასაბამს აძლევს‎, შობა‎
  •  German: zeugen‎, fortpflanzen‎
  •  Japanese: 生む‎ (うむ, umu)
  •  Hungarian: nemz‎
  •  Bulgarian: зачевам‎
  •  Czech: plodit‎
  •  French: procréer‎, engendrer‎
  •  Dutch: voortbrengen‎
  •  Swedish: avla‎
  •  Mwali Comorian: dzaya‎
  •  Mandarin: 生育‎ (shēngyù), 生殖‎ (shēngzhí), 產生‎, 产生‎ (chǎnshēng)
  •  Spanish: concebir‎
  •  Maori: ahi‎, ai‎
  •  Greek: γεννώ‎, παράγω‎
  •  Catalan: concebre‎
  •  Galician: xerar‎
  •  Old Irish: do·fuissim‎
  •  Portuguese: ter filho‎, gerar‎
  •  Italian: generare‎

What is the origin of the word begotten?

According to STR, the term begotten comes from the Greek word meaning monogenes. In Ancient Greek, this was used to refer to a child’s unique relationship with their parent, and the emphasis was on the relationship as one of a kind or unique. 

What are synonyms and antonyms of begotten?

In the English language, there are many different words that a person could use in place of the word begotten. These are called synonyms, which are words and phrases that have the same definition as another given word or phrase. These are very useful in expanding your vocabulary and helping you avoid repeating yourself. This list of synonyms of begotten is provided by Power Thesaurus.

  •  precipitate
  •  sire
  •  give rise to
  •  bring into the world
  •  develop
  •  generate
  •  spawn
  •  fecundate
  •  effect
  •  provoke
  •  make
  •  reproduce
  •  pioneer
  •  mastermind
  •  spark off
  •  think up
  •  elicit
  •  institute
  •  kindle
  •  contrive
  •  pollinate
  •  yield
  •  inspired
  •  establish
  •  raise
  •  progenerate
  •  form
  •  drop
  •  engendered
  •  engendering
  •  set up
  •  dream up
  •  forefather
  •  call forth
  •  coin
  •  start
  •  birth
  •  devise
  •  evoke
  •  design
  •  compost
  •  brought
  •  fructify
  •  fathers
  •  fathering
  •  give life to
  •  parent
  •  spark
  •  ancestor
  •  fabricate
  •  breeding
  •  incite
  •  mothering
  •  be delivered of
  •  begin
  •  formulate
  •  encourage
  •  instigate
  •  excite
  •  build
  •  set off
  •  multiply
  •  foster
  •  induce
  •  deliver
  •  fertilize
  •  procreate
  •  stir up
  •  inspire
  •  give birth to
  •  promote
  •  father
  •  invent
  •  breed
  •  whip up
  •  bring forth
  •  hatch
  •  conceive
  •  generated
  •  get
  •  originate
  •  bring
  •  effectuate
  •  bring into being
  •  engender
  •  generating
  •  produce
  •  prompt
  •  mother
  •  trigger
  •  occasion
  •  arouse
  •  have
  •  create
  •  propagate
  •  initiate
  •  bear
  •  give birth
  •  cause
  •  bring about

There are also many different words that mean the opposite of the word begotten. These opposite words are called antonyms, which are another great way to work on expanding your English vocabulary. This list of antonyms for the word begotten is also provided by Power Thesaurus.

  •  curb
  •  crush
  •  comprise
  •  fail
  •  plagiarize
  •  devastate
  •  exit
  •  copy
  •  dampen
  •  prevent from
  •  assassinate
  •  check
  •  exclude
  •  destruct
  •  desolate
  •  extirpate
  •  expunge
  •  consequent
  •  quench
  •  achieve
  •  destroy
  •  end
  •  conquer
  •  deaden
  •  abolish
  •  plagiarise
  •  quell
  •  subdue
  •  annihilate
  •  delete
  •  come from
  •  evade
  •  crack down
  •  deface
  •  collapse
  •  dismantle
  •  quash
  •  can
  •  expel
  •  blot out
  •  cancel someone’s christmas
  •  arrest
  •  clamp down
  •  exterminate
  •  erase
  •  extinguish
  •  bull
  •  liquidate
  •  abate
  •  demolish

Overall, the word begotten means the past participle of beget, which means to have a child or to foster something. This is often used in the Bible to refer to someone’s only child, or in the early church to refer to the glory of Jesus Christ and His resurrection and divine nature. This coms from the Greek word monogenes and the use of monogenes among creeds to refer to a uniqueness in a relationship with a child.


  1. Begotten definition and meaning | Collins English Dictionary 
  2. What Does It Mean That Jesus Is God’s Only Begotten Son? | STR
  3. Beget antonyms – 108 Opposites of Beget | Power Thesaurus  
  4. beget: meaning, origin, translation | Word Sense 
  5. Beget synonyms – 709 Words and Phrases for Beget | Power Thesaurus