ethnic cleansing


Definition of ethnic cleansing

: the expulsion, imprisonment, or killing of an ethnic minority by a dominant majority in order to achieve ethnic homogeneity

Examples of ethnic cleansing in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Her village was destroyed in early 2003, as Darfur descended into an ugly war characterized by the burning of homes, ethnic cleansing and mass displacement. Washington Post, 19 Nov. 2021 Rohingya refugees have filed a lawsuit against Meta, formerly known as Facebook, for its alleged role in the ethnic cleansing currently underway in Myanmar, sometimes known as Burma. Tim De Chant, Ars Technica, 7 Dec. 2021 Researchers have found that Facebook has been used to spread everything from hate speech to ethnic cleansing. Alex Shephard, The New Republic, 25 Oct. 2021 But these days, the Horn of Africa country is an example of another – darker – trend in global power politics, one that portends dire consequences for human rights and potentially opens the door to horrors like ethnic cleansing and genocide. Howard Lafranchi, The Christian Science Monitor, 8 Oct. 2021 The Muslim minority was the target of a fierce counter-insurgency campaign in 2017 that some critics charged amounted to ethnic cleansing or genocide., 27 Aug. 2021 Some State Department officials are pushing for a genocide declaration in response to accounts of ethnic cleansing in Ethiopia, but no final determination has been made, according to people familiar with the matter. Washington Post, 17 Nov. 2021 Refugees and international observers have accused the invading forces of wide-ranging atrocities, including ethnic cleansing, and of pushing the region to the brink of famine. New York Times, 28 June 2021 Today his government stands accused of ethnic cleansing in northern Ethiopia. Adam O’neal, WSJ, 4 Oct. 2021

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'ethnic cleansing.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of ethnic cleansing

1991, in the meaning defined above

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The first known use of ethnic cleansing was in 1991

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Last Updated

18 Jan 2022

Cite this Entry

“Ethnic cleansing.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 26 Jan. 2022.

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More Definitions for ethnic cleansing

ethnic cleansing


English Language Learners Definition of ethnic cleansing

: the practice of removing or killing people who belong to an ethnic group that is different from the ruling group in a country or region

More from Merriam-Webster on ethnic cleansing

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for ethnic cleansing Encyclopedia article about ethnic cleansing


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