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 This last is a relatively subtle celebration of Ukrainian nationalist movements in the Second World War—made official policy under Poroshenko, but highly controversial because these groups participated in ethnic cleansing of Poles and Jews. Sophie Pinkham, The New Yorker, "The Playful Propaganda of “The History of Ukraine”," 4 Feb. 2020 Global rights groups and the UN called the campaign ethnic cleansing involving rapes, killings and torching of thousands of homes. Julhas Alam,, "Bangladesh says once-submerged island ready for Rohingya," 16 Jan. 2020 Cultural destruction has forever been part and parcel of ethnic cleansing. Elizabeth Silkes, Time, "Cultural Heritage Reminds Us of Our Shared Humanity. That's Why Threats Against Them Are So Dangerous," 10 Jan. 2020 This means ethnic cleansing by removing the Kurds from their land and replacing them with some others. Robin Wright, The New Yorker, "America’s Ally in Syria Warns of Ethnic Cleansing by Turkey," 20 Oct. 2019 Plus: Scenes of ethnic cleansing by pro-Turkish forces in Syria. NBC News, "Meet the Press - October 13, 2019," 13 Oct. 2019 Pakistan and others fear that India’s power grab may lead to ethnic cleansing by Hindus of the area’s Muslim-majority population. Alex Ward, Vox, "Pakistan cuts off diplomatic and economic ties to India over Kashmir power grab," 8 Aug. 2019 Myanmar’s accusers have described a deliberate campaign of ethnic cleansing and genocide that drove more than 700,000 Rohingya to neighboring Bangladesh., "Nobel laureate defends Myanmar army in genocide case," 11 Dec. 2019 His requests to Trump: Keep U.S. forces in the region, stop Turkey's attacks and fulfill America's pledge to prevent ethnic cleansing in Syria. Jennifer Griffin, Fox News, "Kurdish military leader says his fighters still want to work with US, accuses Turkey of 'violating' cease-fire, 'ethnic cleansing'," 21 Oct. 2019

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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Last Updated

26 Mar 2020

Cite this Entry

“Ethnic cleansing.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 31 Mar. 2020.

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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

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

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