Definition of germen in US English:

germen

noun

  • 1A reproductive element, especially a seed or embryo; the rudiment of an organism, capable of developing into a new one. Chiefly figurative and in figurative contexts.

  • 2Figurative. An initial stage or state from which something may develop; a source, a beginning.

Origin

Early 17th century; earliest use found in William Shakespeare (1564–1616), playwright and poet. From classical Latin germin-, germen germ, in scientific Latin also in sense 3 (Linnaeus Genera plantarum Introd. sig. **).

Pronunciation

germen

/ˈdʒəːmən/