generic namemedical dictionary

1. In 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. "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. In 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.

(05 Mar 2000)