ho·mo·ge·ne·ous (hō′mə-jēnē-əs, -jēnyəs)
1. Consisting of parts that are the same; uniform in structure or composition: "a tight-knit, homogeneous society" (James Fallows).
2. Of the same or similar nature or kind: "Professional archivists ... developed more or less homogeneous conservation practices" (David Howard).
3. Mathematics Consisting of terms of the same degree or elements of the same dimension.
[From Medieval Latin homogeneus, from Greek homogenēs : homo-, homo- + genos, kind; see HETEROGENEOUS.]
Usage Note: The contested variant of homogeneous that is spelled and pronounced homogenous (without the second e) is common but remains stigmatized. In our 2014 survey, 57 percent of the Usage Panel found the sentence Most colleges and universities strive to prevent a homogenous student body by encouraging diversity to be unacceptable. Several of the Panelists commented that homogenous made them think of milk, presumably because it sounds like homogenized, which was most likely the historical inspiration for homogenous (the two words increased in popularity in parallel trajectories beginning in the 1930s). To avoid an unintentionally comic effect, it's best to stick with homogeneous. An entirely distinct technical sense of homogenous in biology, "similar in structure and evolutionary origin," is now archaic, supplanted by homologous.
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2020 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.