ethnic cleansing

noun

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

The scale, organization and ferocity of the operation led to accusations from the international community, including the United Nations, of ethnic cleansing and even genocide. Julhas Alam, The Seattle Times, "Bangladesh official: Rohingya repatriation ready to begin," 14 Nov. 2018 The fighting in Kachin state comes after a campaign of ethnic cleansing conducted by the army against the Muslim Rohingya population in western Rakhine state. Helen Regan, Time, "'What Future Do We Have?' Caught in the Crossfire of Myanmar's Northern Conflict, Civilians See Little Hope," 3 May 2018 The massacre occurred during attacks on the Rohingya by Myanmar’s army and Buddhist mobs — violence that drove hundreds of thousands of refugees into Bangladesh and has been widely characterized as ethnic cleansing. Mike Ives, New York Times, "Case Against Reuters Journalists in Myanmar Moves to Trial," 9 July 2018 The State Department has so far classified the killings as ethnic cleansing and not as genocide, which under international law is a crime of its own. Jon Emont, WSJ, "Myanmar’s Massacre of Rohingya Is Genocide, U.S.-Hired Law Firm Says," 3 Dec. 2018 Friday's action targets four Myanmar military and police commanders plus two military units for their alleged involvement in ethnic cleansing in Rakhine and other human rights abuses in the nation's Kachin and Shan states. Fox News, "US sanctions Myanmar forces for alleged human rights abuses," 17 Aug. 2018 The road toward ethnic cleansing in America begins and ends at the same place: The ballot box. Will Bunch, Philly.com, "Can Trump's slow-motion ethnic cleansing keep whites in U.S. majority? | Will Bunch," 12 July 2018 In August 2016, Italian news agency ANSA reported him as calling for ethnic cleansing in Italy. Lauren Said-moorhouse And Gianluca Mezzofiore, CNN, "Meet the populist players about to take power in Italy," 1 June 2018 The tribal Germanic idea of Heimat, or homeland, for instance, represented a bulwark against the ills of modernity before the Nazis notoriously used it as a pretext for ethnic cleansing. Atossa Araxia Abrahamian, New York Times, "Can Islamic and European Civilizations Coexist?," 28 Mar. 2018

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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Last Updated

13 Feb 2019

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The first known use of ethnic cleansing was in 1991

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More Definitions for ethnic cleansing

ethnic cleansing

noun

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

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about ethnic cleansing

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