Skip to Content
Medical Term:

generic name

Pronunciation: je-ner'ik nam


  1. chemistry a noun that indicates the class or type of a single compound, salt, saccharide (sugar), hexose, alcohol, aldehyde, lactone, acid, amine, alkane, steroid, vitamin. “Class” is more appropriate and more often used than is “generic.”
  2. In the pharmaceutical and commercial fields, a misnomer for nonproprietary name.
  3. In the biologic sciences, the first part of the scientific name (Latin binary combination or binomial) of an organism; written with an initial capital letter and in italics.
  4. bacteriology the species name consists of two parts (comprising one name): the generic name and the specific epithet; in other biologic disciplines, the species name is regarded as being composed of two names: the generic name and the specific name.
© Copyright 2016 Wolters Kluwer. All Rights Reserved. Review Date: Sep 19, 2016.