- See under eugenics.
noun (used with a singular verb)
- the study of or belief in the possibility of improving the qualities of the human species or a human population, especially by such means as discouraging reproduction by persons having genetic defects or presumed to have inheritable undesirable traits (negative eugenics) or encouraging reproduction by persons presumed to have inheritable desirable traits (positive eugenics).
- (functioning as singular) the study of methods of improving the quality of the human race, esp by selective breeding
n.1883, coined (along with adjective eugenic) by English scientist Francis Galton (1822-1911) on analogy of ethics, physics, etc. from Greek eugenes “well-born, of good stock, of noble race,” from eu- “good” (see eu-) + genos “birth” (see genus). The investigation of human eugenics, that is, of the conditions under which men of a high type are produced. [Galton, “Human Faculty,” 1883] n.
- The study of hereditary improvement of the human race by controlled selective breeding.
The idea that one can improve the human race by careful selection of those who mate and produce offspring.