Congener (from Latin congener "of the same race or kind," from com- "together" + gener-, stem of genus "kind") has several different meanings depending on the field in which it is used. Colloquially, it is used to mean a person or thing like another, in character or action.



In biology, congeners are organisms within the same genus.[1] A related term -- referring to members of the same species -- is conspecific.


Example of a congener: the number and locations of Cl groups can vary

In chemistry, congeners are related chemicals, e.g., elements in the same group of the periodic table, or derivatives thereof.

  • There are 209 congeners of polychlorinated biphenyls (PCB) as well as 209 congeners of polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDE).
  • Congeners of oleic acids can modify cell membrane behavior protecting against tumors or having effects on blood pressure.
  • Congeners refer to the other elements in a group in the periodic table. For example, the congeners of the Group 11 element copper are silver and gold. Similarly, sodium chloride and potassium chloride may be considered congeners.


In genetics, congenic organisms are organisms with very similar genomes, except for a small fraction. For example, recombinant congenic mice strains are produced in laboratories as a tool to study genetic disease.

In alcoholic beverages

In the alcoholic beverages industry, congeners are substances produced during fermentation. These substances include small amounts of chemicals such as acetone, acetaldehyde, and other higher alcohols, esters, and aldehydes (e.g. propanol, glycols, ethyl acetate). Congeners are responsible for most of the taste and aroma of distilled alcoholic beverages, and contribute to the taste of non-distilled drinks.[2] It has been suggested that these substances contribute to the symptoms of a hangover.[3]


  1. ^ Congener, Accessed 2009-03-25
  2. ^ Understanding Congeners in Wine, Wines & Vines. Accessed 2011-4-20
  3. ^ Whisky hangover 'worse than vodka, a study suggests', BBC News. Accessed 2009-12-19

External links

Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.


Look at other dictionaries:

  • congener — CONGÉNER, Ă, congeneri, e, adj. De acelaşi gen sau de aceeaşi speţă cu altă fiinţă. – Din fr. congénère, lat. congener. Trimis de irene bujenita, 31.05.2005. Sursa: DEX 98  congenér adj. m., pl. congenéri; f …   Dicționar Român

  • Congener — Con ge*ner (?; 277), n. [From L. congener. See {Congenerous}.] A thing of the same genus, species, or kind; a thing allied in nature, character, or action. [1913 Webster] The cherry tree has been often grafted on the laurel, to which it is a… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • congener — 1730s, from Fr. congénère (16c.), from L. congener of the same race or kind, from com together (see COM (Cf. com )) + gener , stem of genus kind (see GENUS (Cf. genus)) …   Etymology dictionary

  • congener — index complement, correlate, counterpart (complement) Burton s Legal Thesaurus. William C. Burton. 2006 …   Law dictionary

  • congener — [kän′jə nər] n. [L, of the same race or kind < com , together + genus (gen. generis), race, GENUS] a person or thing of the same kind, class, race, or genus congeneric [kän′jə ner′ik] adj. congenerous [kən jen′ər əs] …   English World dictionary

  • congener — n. a thing or person of the same kind or category as another, esp. animals or plants of a specified genus (the goldfinch is a congener of the canary). Etymology: L (as con , genus) …   Useful english dictionary

  • congener — noun Etymology: Latin, of the same kind, from com + gener , genus kind more at kin Date: circa 1736 1. a member of the same taxonomic genus as another plant or animal 2. a person, organism, or thing resembling another in nature or action < the… …   New Collegiate Dictionary

  • Congener — Beispiel: PCB Kongenere Beispiel: BDE 99, ein Kongener der PBDE Kongenere (auch Congenere) sind …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • congener — /kon jeuh neuhr/, n. 1. a person or thing of the same kind or class as another. 2. a plant, animal, fungus, etc., belonging to the same genus as another. 3. Also, congeneric. a secondary product formed in alcohol during fermentation that… …   Universalium

  • congener — noun a) A plant or animal of the same taxonomic genus as another. b) A person or thing similar in behavior or nature to another. Syn: cogener See Also: congeneric …   Wiktionary

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