generate


generate
generate vb Generate, engender, breed, beget, get, sire, procreate, propagate, reproduce are comparable when they mean to give life or origin to or to bring into existence by or as if by natural processes.
Generate, which means no more than this, is used rarely in reference to human beings, seldom in reference to animals or plants
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mushrooms are not generated from seeds

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but is the technical term in reference to electricity
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generate an electric current

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and is used commonly in reference to ideas, emotions, passions, moods, or conditions that have a traceable cause or source
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a habit of thought . . . only to be generated by intimate knowledge of good literature— Russell

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I do not think religious feeling is ever aroused, except by ideas of objective truth and value; but these ideas are certainly not generated by feeling— Inge

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the mood generated in me by the intellectual convictions current in my time— Krutch

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Engender, like generate, is chiefly found in extended use, where it more often suggests an originating or a sudden or immediate birth than a gradual bringing into fullness of life or being
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to hunger for the hope and happiness which ... the dance seemed to engender within themHardy

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a sudden spontaneous illumination . . . engendered in the course of writing a poem—Day Lewis

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the strike, during which three men had been killed and ill-feeling engendered in hundreds of silent workers— Anderson

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Breed basically means to produce offspring by hatching or gestation
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yet every mother breeds not sons alike— Shak.

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Often the term carries a less specific meaning and suggests merely the production of offspring
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mankind will in every country breed up to a certain point— Paley sometimes by parental action but more often by the activity of those who determine the parentage, the time of mating, and the number of offspring Specialists who breed horses for racing

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cattle bred for milk production

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the notion of a Government department trying to make out how many different types were necessary, and how many persons of each type, and proceeding to breed them by appropriate marriages, is amusing but not practicable— Shaw

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Sometimes breed adds the implication of nurturing or rearing to that of producing offspring and may so stress this that there is no reference to the life processes involved in generation
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he was bred in a manner befitting the son of a king

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he was born and bred in your house— Jowett

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In its extended sense breed usually implies a gradual or continuous process of coming into being; it may specifically suggest a period of latency or quiescence before breaking out
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an iniquitous government breeds despair in men's souls— John Morley

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the yoke a man creates for himself by wrongdoing will breed hate in the kindliest nature— George Eliot

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incessant recurrence without variety breeds tedium— Lowes

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Beget, get, and sire imply the procreating act of the male parent; usually beget is preferred in reference to men and get and sire in reference to animals
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he that begetteth a fool doeth it to his sorrow— Prov 17:21

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a bull may be unable to get calves— Diseases of Cattle

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a Thoroughbred sired by a famous stallion

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Only beget and sire have extended use derived from their basic meaning. In such use there is very little difference between beget, sire, and engender, the terms often being employed interchangeably without loss
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motion picture industry, sired and nourished by private enterprise— Haysy}

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though beget sometimes stresses a calling into being on the spur of the moment or without any previous preparation or expectation
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beauty that begets wonder and admiration

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stories . . . spring from the fillip of some suggestion, and one begets another— Lowes

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Procreate, a somewhat formal word, comes close in meaning to breed in the sense of to produce offspring. Though sometimes used as a synonym of beget, it more often refers to sexual acts involved in a mating and their results in the production of children
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the time-honored presumption that a child born to a married woman during coverture was procreated by her husband— JAMA

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Unlike the foregoing terms, propagate carries no inherent implication of sexual activity but rather stresses the preserving and increasing of a kind of living being, be it plant, animal, or human, whether by generating, by breeding, or by growing (as from seeds, grafts, cuttings, or bulbs)
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the rabbit propagates itself with great rapidity

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from cuttings ... he propagated what he first named the Tokay but later the Catawba grape— Jenkins

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In its extended use propagate implies not only giving rise to something or bringing it into existence but often also a continuation of that existence or the widespread dissemination of the thing that is brought into existence
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"Oh! does patience beget patience?" said Adrian. "I was not aware it was a propagating virtue"— Meredith

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the Rights of Man, rights which the French Revolution had propagatedBarr

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Reproduce, like propagate, may be used in reference to any living thing capable of bringing into existence one or more of its kind and is applicable whether the means is sexual or asexual
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the tribe was dying out; infant mortality was heavy, and the young couples did not reproduce freely —the life-force seemed low— Gather

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the residents of the urban places probably did not reproduce themselves— Oscar Handlin

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Analogous words: *bear, produce, yield: *teem, abound

New Dictionary of Synonyms. 2014.

Synonyms:

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Generate LA-NY — Generate is a Los Angeles based entertainment studio that produces content for distribution across mediums, including the Internet, television, film, video games, mobile devices and books. The company completed a $6 million Series A round of… …   Wikipedia

  • generate — gen‧e‧rate [ˈdʒenəreɪt] verb [transitive] 1. MANUFACTURING to produce energy or power: • These solar panels generate enough electricity to supply a home with all its energy requirements. • The water goes first to generate hydroelectric …   Financial and business terms

  • Generate — Gen er*ate, v. t. [imp. & p. p. {Generated}; p. pr. & vb. n. {Generating}.] [L. generatus, p. p. of generare to generate, fr. genus. See {Genus}, {Gender}.] [1913 Webster] 1. To beget; to procreate; to propagate; to produce (a being similar to… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Generate — may refer to:* CreateScience and math * Generate and test (trial and error) * Generating function, in math and physics * Generating primes * Generating set * Generating trigonometric tablesOther * Generated collection, in music theory *… …   Wikipedia

  • generate — [jen′ər āt΄] vt. generated, generating [< L generatus, pp. of generare, to beget, produce < genus (gen. generis): see GENUS] 1. to produce (offspring); beget; procreate 2. to bring into being; cause to be [to generate hope] 3. a) …   English World dictionary

  • generate — I verb animate, author, be the cause, beget, begin, breed, bring about, bring forth, bring into being, bring into existence, call into being, call into existence, cause, cause to be, conduce, construct, contrive, create, develop, do, effect,… …   Law dictionary

  • generate — c.1500, to beget (offspring), a back formation from generation or else from L. generatus, pp. of generare to beget, produce (see GENERATION (Cf. generation)); originally to beget; in reference to natural forces, conditions, substances, etc.,… …   Etymology dictionary

  • generate — [v] produce, create accomplish, achieve, bear, beget, breed, bring about, bring to pass, cause, develop, effect, engender, form, found, get up, give birth to, give rise to, hatch, inaugurate, induce, initiate, institute, introduce, make, multiply …   New thesaurus

  • generate — ► VERB 1) cause to arise or come about. 2) produce (energy, especially electricity). DERIVATIVES generable adjective. ORIGIN Latin generare create , from genus stock, race …   English terms dictionary

  • generate — verb ADVERB ▪ quickly ▪ automatically, spontaneously ▪ People used to believe that dirt spontaneously generated disease. ▪ randomly ▪ a sequence of r …   Collocations dictionary