-gen repr. Gr. -genḗs (rel. to génos KIN), through F. -gène, which, by ref. to Gr. gennân beget, produce, was used first in oxygène OXYGEN, nitrogène NITROGEN, and later in endogène ENDOGEN, exogène EXOGEN, in the sense ‘producing’, whereas the orig. Gr. formative was used in the senses (i) ‘born, produced’, as in eggenḗs native, and (ii) ‘of a (certain or specified) condition’, as in heterogenḗs HETEROGENEOUS, homogenḗs HOMOGENEOUS.
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