Simple Definition of ghetto
: a part of a city in which members of a particular group or race live usually in poor conditions
: the poorest part of a city
Full Definition of ghettoplural
1 : a quarter of a city in which Jews were formerly required to live
2 : a quarter of a city in which members of a minority group live especially because of social, legal, or economic pressure
3 a : an isolated group <a geriatric ghetto> b : a situation that resembles a ghetto especially in conferring inferior status or limiting opportunity <the pink-collar ghetto>
Examples of ghetto in a sentence
He grew up in the ghetto.
Did You Know?
The etymology of Italian ghetto was formerly the subject of much speculation, but today there is little doubt that the word comes from the Italian dialect form ghèto, meaning “foundry.” A foundry for cannons was once located on an island that forms part of Venice, where in 1516 the Venetians restricted Jewish residence. The word ghèto became the name for the area and was borrowed into standard Italian as ghetto, with the meaning of “section of a city where Jews are forced to live.” From there it passed into most other European languages. Since the late 19th century, the meaning of ghetto has been extended to crowded urban districts where other ethnic or racial groups have been confined by poverty or prejudice.
Origin and Etymology of ghetto
Italian, from Venetian dialect ghèto island where Jews were forced to live, literally, foundry (located on the island), from ghetàr to cast, from Latin jactare to throw — more at jet
First Known Use: 1611
Definition of ghetto
First Known Use of ghetto
GHETTO Defined for Kids
Definition of ghetto for Students
: a part of a city in which members of a particular group live in poor conditions
Seen and Heard
What made you want to look up ghetto? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).