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

What does the word genesis mean when it is used in a religious context or a general context? Keep reading to find out the meaning of genesis!

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You may have heard the word genesis used in a religious context, but we can also use it more generally. Hearing a word have two meanings can be confusing, but this article will tell you all about the difference between these two meanings of genesis, how to use them in a sentence, the etymology of the word, translations, and synonyms and antonyms.

Get ready to become a genesis expert!

What Does the Word Genesis Mean?

According to Collins English Dictionary, genesis is a noun that means a beginning, creation, or birth. Genesis can refer to the mode of originating or the act of producing something for the first time.

Genesis also refers to the first book of the Bible in the Old Testament. This book contains many famous stories such as: 

  • The creation of the world
  • Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden
  • Cain and Abel
  • Jacob and Esau
  • Noah’s ark and the flood
  • The patriarchs Abraham, Jacob, Joseph, and Isaac
  • The Tower of Babel
  • The sojourning of the Israelites in Egypt
  • And more!

What Is the Origin of Genesis?

According to Dictionary, the word genesis has been used since Old English. This word comes from the Latin genesis and is a derivative of the Greek gignesthai, meaning to be born. The base of gignesthai come from the Ancient Greek γένεσις, γίγνεσθαι, and γενέσθαι. 

The pronunciation of genesis is ˈdʒɛnɪsɪs.

How Can Genesis Be Used in a Sentence?

Since the word genesis has two specific meanings, it can be used in sentences in two distinct ways. It is important to be able to recognize what someone means by the word genesis based on the context of the sentence. It is also important to be able to use the word genesis in both ways without muddling the two meanings.

Study the below example sentences which contain the word genesis and see if you can determine which meaning of genesis is used in which sentence. Then, try making example sentences of your own for each of the meanings of genesis!

The genesis of her passion for medicine came from the medical advice she received following her own diagnosis. She made a promise to fulfill her obligations.

We studied how Christians and those who practice Judaism each interpret Genesis and the other books of the Old Testament versus the Torah. It is interesting to see how our primeval history resembled each other on how each book tells of creation by the Lord God and Elohim.

The genesis of my love for New York was in my genes; all of the descendants of my patriarchal history have moved there or lived there. We formed a great nation in our neighborhood.

The religion students at Princeton University studied the use of gender in the book of Genesis and how the male and female people are represented. They investigated how God’s covenant related to the fall of man via Eve.

The genesis of English comes from many different sources such as Latin and Greek, according to the Dictionary of the English Language.

English common law finds its genesis in the creation of the Magna Carta.

What Are Translations of Genesis?

If you are trying to discuss the word genesis with people who do not speak English, you can reference a translation of genesis from Nice Translator

  • Malay: Kejadian
  • Thai: การปฐมกาล
  • Slovak: gól
  • Chinese (Taiwan): 創世紀
  • Ukrainian: генезис
  • Hindi: उत्पत्ति
  • Tamil: ஆதியாகமம்
  • Lithuanian: Genesis
  • Gujarati: ઉત્પત્તિ
  • Marathi: उत्पत्ति
  • Russian: генезис
  • Catalan: gènesi
  • Malayalam: ഉല്പത്തി
  • Croatian: geneza
  • Hungarian: genesis
  • Dutch: Genesis
  • German: Genesis
  • French: genèse
  • Korean: 창세기
  • Italian: genesi
  • Indonesian: asal
  • Bulgarian: Битие
  • Kannada: ಜೆನೆಸಿಸ್
  • Urdu: پیدائش
  • Amharic: ዘፍጥረት
  • Norwegian: Genesis
  • Swahili: Mwanzo
  • Romanian: geneză
  • Bengali: আদিপুস্তক
  • Welsh: Genesis
  • Greek: γένεση
  • Japanese: 創世記
  • Chinese (PRC): 创世纪
  • Hebrew: בראשית
  • Telugu: ఆదికాండము
  • Estonian: geness
  • Serbian: генеза
  • Arabic: منشأ
  • Czech: Genesis
  • Finnish: genesis
  • Turkish: Yaratılış
  • Spanish: génesis
  • Swedish: genesis
  • Latvian: ģenēze
  • Polish: geneza
  • Basque: genesia
  • Portuguese (Brazil): gênese
  • Icelandic: mósebók
  • Portuguese (Portugal): gênese

What Are Synonyms of the Word Genesis?

Since genesis has a religious connotation, sometimes it is best to use a synonym for genesis if you are trying to avoid connections with religion. Study these synonyms of genesis from Power Thesaurus to learn about words you can use in place of genesis.

  • advent
  • alpha
  • beginning
  • beginnings
  • birth
  • birthplace
  • cause
  • childbirth
  • commencement
  • conception
  • cradle
  • creation
  • dawn
  • dawning
  • day one
  • derivation
  • development
  • early stages
  • emergence
  • evolution
  • font
  • formation
  • formulation
  • foundation
  • fount
  • fountain
  • fountainhead
  • generation
  • inauguration
  • inception
  • incipience
  • incipiency
  • infancy
  • initiation
  • kickoff
  • launch
  • mother
  • nascence
  • nascency
  • nativity
  • onset
  • opening
  • origin
  • origination
  • origins
  • outset
  • parturition
  • procreation
  • propagation
  • provenance
  • rise
  • root
  • roots
  • seed
  • seeds
  • source
  • spring
  • start
  • starting point
  • wellspring

What Are Antonyms of Genesis?

There are also many words that mean the opposite of genesis and refer to an end. Power Thesaurus lists many of these words as well.

  • acme
  • annihilation
  • apex
  • apogee
  • boundary
  • butt
  • cessation
  • close
  • closure
  • completion
  • conclusion
  • consequence
  • consummation
  • crest
  • culmination
  • death
  • demise
  • denouement
  • design
  • destruction
  • determination
  • edge
  • end
  • ending
  • eradication
  • expiration
  • expiry
  • extermination
  • extinction
  • extreme
  • extremity
  • finale
  • finish
  • goal
  • halt
  • height
  • intent
  • intention
  • issue
  • limit
  • mark
  • object
  • objective
  • outcome
  • payoff
  • peak
  • pinnacle
  • point
  • purpose
  • reason
  • remnant
  • resolution
  • result
  • sequel
  • stop
  • summit
  • tail
  • tail end
  • target
  • termination
  • tip
  • top
  • ultimate
  • upshot
  • zenith


The word genesis is a noun that has two distinct meanings. First, we can use the word genesis to refer to the beginning or start of something. The word Genesis is also the first book in the Bible that contains many famous stories. You can see the distinction through whether the word is capitalized and by using context clues!


  1. Genesis synonyms – 496 Words and Phrases for Genesis | Power Thesaurus 
  2. Genesis antonyms – 132 Opposites of Genesis | Power Thesaurus 
  3. Genesis Definition & Meaning | 
  4. Genesis definition and meaning | Collins English Dictionary 
  5. Genesis | Nice Translator