Quantcast
Merriam-Webster Logo
  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
  • Medical
  • Scrabble
  • Spanish Central
  • Learner's Dictionary

genre

play
noun \ˈzhän-rə, ˈzhäⁿ-; ˈzhäⁿr; ˈjän-rə\

Simple Definition of genre

  • : a particular type or category of literature or art

Full Definition of genre

  1. 1 :  a category of artistic, musical, or literary composition characterized by a particular style, form, or content

  2. 2 :  kind, sort

  3. 3 :  painting that depicts scenes or events from everyday life usually realistically

Examples of genre

  1. In genre fiction there is an implied contract between writer and reader that justice of a kind will be exacted; “good” may not always triumph over “evil,” but the distinction between the two must be honored. —Joyce Carol Oates, New York Review of Books, 14 Aug. 2003

  2. One of the first marketers outside of hip-hop to recognize the power of the genre … . he first sent models sashaying down the runway in 1991 in hip-hop chic, with sneakers and chunky gold chains… —Johnnie L. Roberts, Newsweek, 2 Sept. 2002

  3. Even the local Catholic archdiocesan weekly, hardly an exciting genre, offers a more provocative sampling of opinion on its editorial page. —Walker Percy, “New Orleans Mon Amour,” 1968, in Signposts in a Strange Land, 1991

  4. This book is a classic of the mystery genre.

  5. <the novel's hero is of a different genre than the traditional kind>



Origin of genre

French, from Middle French, kind, gender — more at gender


First Known Use: 1770



Seen and Heard

What made you want to look up genre? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

February 7, 2016

a slight offense

Get Word of the Day daily email!

WORD GAMES

Take a 3-minute break and test your skills!

image1037863653

Which of the following refers to thin, bending ice, or to the act of running over such ice?

spindrift kittly-benders pince-nez duvet
Name That Thing

10 quick questions: hear them, spell them, and see how your skills compare to the crowd.

TAKE THE QUIZ
SCRABBLE® Sprint

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ