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 Some 700,000 of them were chased into Bangladesh three years ago by the Burmese army and allied militias in a horrifying bout of ethnic cleansing. The Economist, "Bangladesh is moving Rohingyas to a remote island," 12 Dec. 2020 Western diplomats based in the region, who spoke on condition of anonymity for fear of exacerbating the situation on the ground, told CNN their biggest fear is that the conflict could descend into ethnic cleansing. Nima Elbagir, CNN, "'They left us for dead.' Tigray refugees tell of horrors after Ethiopian troops vowed they'd be safe," 8 Dec. 2020 Thousands of Buddhist monks have held protests against the West for wanting to bring the military to justice for ethnic cleansing. Hannah Beech, New York Times, "How a Human Rights Angel Lost Her Halo," 14 Nov. 2020 Whether as a handmaiden to ethnic cleansing or as a pandemic whose denial is spawning wildly anti-democratic conspiracy theories, disease has a funny way of turning into a battle fought along political lines, while masquerading as natural disaster. Josephine Livingstone, The New Republic, "It’s a Perfect Year for a Non-Thanksgiving," 26 Nov. 2020 Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed has accused forces loyal to Tigray's leaders of carrying out mass killings and ethnic cleansing. Tim O'donnell, TheWeek, "10 things you need to know today: November 14, 2020," 14 Nov. 2020 The company formalized procedures for humanitarian interventions after the United Nations blamed the company’s inaction on hate speech and incitements to violence for fueling the ethnic cleansing of the Rohingya Muslims in Myanmar. Jeff Horwitz, WSJ, "Facebook Prepares Measures for Possible Election Unrest," 25 Oct. 2020 The conflict forced hundreds of thousands of people from their homes in bouts of ethnic cleansing on both sides. Daniel Sneider, The Christian Science Monitor, "Nagorno-Karabakh: A reporter’s regretful recollections," 26 Oct. 2020 The flow of people has surged since 2017, when more than three-quarters of a million Rohingya fled an ethnic cleansing campaign in Myanmar. Hannah Beech, New York Times, "For Young Rohingya Brides, Marriage Means a Perilous, Deadly Crossing," 17 Oct. 2020

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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Time Traveler for ethnic cleansing

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The first known use of ethnic cleansing was in 1991

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Statistics for ethnic cleansing

Last Updated

19 Dec 2020

Cite this Entry

“Ethnic cleansing.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 18 Jan. 2021.

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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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