The hierarchy of biological classification's eight major taxonomic ranks. A family contains one or more genera. Intermediate minor rankings are not shown.

A genus (s/, pl. genera ə/) is a taxonomic rank used in the biological classification of living and fossil organisms in biology. In the hierarchy of biological classification, genus comes above species and below family. In binomial nomenclature, the genus name forms the first part of the binomial species name for each species within the genus.

E.g. Felis catus and Felis silvestris are two species within the genus Felis. Felis is a genus within the family Felidae.

The composition of a genus is determined by a taxonomist. The standards for genus classification are not strictly codified, so different authorities often produce different classifications for genera. There are some general practices used, however,[1] including the idea that a newly defined genus should fulfill these three criteria to be descriptively useful:

  1. monophyly – all descendants of an ancestral taxon are grouped together (i.e. phylogenetic analysis should clearly demonstrate both monophyly and validity as a separate lineage[2]).
  2. reasonable compactness – a genus should not be expanded needlessly; and
  3. distinctness – with respect to evolutionarily relevant criteria, i.e. ecology, morphology, or biogeography; DNA sequences are a consequence rather than a condition of diverging evolutionary lineages except in cases where they directly inhibit gene flow (e.g. postzygotic barriers).

Moreover, genera should be composed of phylogenetic units of the same kind as other (analogous) genera.[2]


The term comes from the Latin genus ("origin; type; group; race"),[3] a noun form cognate with gignere ("to bear; to give birth to"). Linnaeus popularized its use in his 1753 Species Plantarum, but the French botanist Joseph Pitton de Tournefort (1656–1708) is considered "the founder of the modern concept of genera".[4]

Other Languages
Afrikaans: Genus
Alemannisch: Gattung (Biologie)
العربية: جنس (تصنيف)
Avañe'ẽ: Jueheguaty
башҡортса: Ырыу (биология)
беларуская: Род (біялогія)
беларуская (тарашкевіца)‎: Род (біялёгія)
български: Род (биология)
bosanski: Rod (biologija)
brezhoneg: Genad
čeština: Rod (biologie)
Cymraeg: Genws
dolnoserbski: Rod (biologija)
Esperanto: Genro (biologio)
فارسی: سرده
français: Genre (biologie)
Gaeilge: Géineas
Gaelg: Genus
한국어: 속 (생물학)
hornjoserbsce: Ród (biologija)
Ido: Genero
Bahasa Indonesia: Genus
Basa Jawa: Gènus
Kapampangan: Genus
Kiswahili: Jenasi
kurdî: Cins
Кыргызча: Уруу (биология)
Lëtzebuergesch: Gattung (Biologie)
македонски: Род (биологија)
മലയാളം: ജീനസ്
მარგალური: გვარი (ბიოლოგია)
Bahasa Melayu: Genus
Baso Minangkabau: Genus
မြန်မာဘာသာ: မျိုးစု
日本語: 属 (分類学)
norsk nynorsk: Biologisk slekt
oʻzbekcha/ўзбекча: Urugʻ (zoologiya)
Piemontèis: Géner
Plattdüütsch: Geslecht (Biologie)
português: Género (biologia)
română: Gen (biologie)
Runa Simi: Rikch'ana
русиньскый: Род (біолоґія)
саха тыла: Уус (биология)
Scots: Genus
Simple English: Genus
slovenčina: Rod (taxonómia)
slovenščina: Rod (biologija)
српски / srpski: Род (биологија)
srpskohrvatski / српскохрватски: Rod (taksonomija)
Basa Sunda: Génus
svenska: Släkte
Tagalog: Sari
татарча/tatarça: Ыруг (биология)
తెలుగు: ప్రజాతి
Türkçe: Cins
українська: Рід (біологія)
اردو: جنس
Tiếng Việt: Chi (sinh học)
Winaray: Genus