sui generis

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Borrowed from Latin. From suī (“of its own”) + generis, the genitive of genus (“origin, kind, class”). Literally meaning “of its own kind/class”.



sui generis (not comparable)

  1. In a class of its own; one of a kind.
    Synonyms: one of a kind, unique, original
    • 1828, Four Discourses on the Sacrifice and Priesthood of Jesus Christ: and on Atonement and Redemption, by John Pye Smith, page 67
      The transcendent case before us is absolutely sui generis.
    • 1994, Frances and Joseph Gies, “The Technology of the Commercial Revolution”, in Cathedral, Forge, and Waterwheel, →ISBN, page 111:
      The system was neither free enterprise nor socialism; it was sui generis, one of the unique creations of the Middle Ages.
    • 1995, How To Do Things With Words, by J.L. Austin
      We see him as he sees himself, surveying the invisible depths of ethical space, with all the distinction of a specialist in the sui generis.
  2. (rarer) By itself; of its own.
    Synonym: per se
    It is nothing to worry about sui generis, but in context of the other factors it's alarming indeed.

Usage notes[edit]

Used as a legal term.



sui generis (plural none)

  1. (incorrectly) A thing apart, an isolated specimen



From Latin.


sui generis (invariable)

  1. sui generis