Dictionary > Generic name

Generic name

Definition
noun, plural: generic names
(taxonomy) The first name of a binomen
(pharmacology) A misnomer for nonproprietary name
(chemistry) A noun that indicates the class or type of a single compound; e.g., salt, saccharide (sugar), hexose, alcohol, aldehyde, lactone, acid, amine, alkane, steroid, vitamin
Supplement
In biology, particularly taxonomy, the generic name refers to the first part of a binomial name of the species. The binomial name is comprised of the generic name and the specific epithet. Both of these names are derived from Latin and Greek languages. The naming of the species is according to the binomial nomenclature system. Accordingly, the generic name is the genus of the species and is written by starting with a capitalized letter. Both the generic name and the specific epithet are in italicized form. The binomial name of the species may be abbreviated by taking the first letter of the generic name followed by a dot and then by the specific epithet. For instance, in Panthera leo (the binomial name of lion) the Panthera is the generic name (or the genus) whereas the leo is the specific epithet.
In pharmacology, the term generic name is the name for a particular medication or drug that does not include a trademark or brand name. In chemistry, the generic name indicates the class or type of a single compound. However, the term class is more appropriate and more often used than the term generic.
Synonym(s):

  • genus name (taxonomy)
  • generic (pharmacology)

See also:

  • binomial nomenclature (taxonomy)
  • species (taxonomy)
  • specific epithet (taxonomy)
  • binomial name (taxonomy)
  • genus (taxonomy)


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