ethnic cleansing


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

Example Sentences

Recent Examples on the Web Systematic removal of an ethnic group is the definition of ethnic cleansing, an international crime. Ashraf Ashkar, Star Tribune, 20 May 2021 The regional Amhara forces also forcibly deported people from parts of Tigray and were responsible for acts of ethnic cleansing, the State Department said. Missy Ryan, Washington Post, 20 Mar. 2023 At his headquarters, the Islamic Cultural Center of Lviv, a display case exhibits faded old Qurans carried by Crimean Tatars, Muslims who were forcibly deported in 1944 during a Soviet ethnic cleansing campaign. Washington Post, 28 Apr. 2022 The flow of people surged after 2017, when more than three-quarters of a million Rohingya fled an ethnic cleansing campaign in Myanmar. New York Times, 30 Dec. 2021 Armenians fear ethnic cleansing, clips of war crimes committed by Azeris and even torture and mutilations have surfaced. Jack Nasher, Forbes, 3 Jan. 2023 The Treaty of Cusseta was an instrument of ethnic cleansing that included a short-term provision to protect Indigenous peoples from dangerous white settlers. Eric Herschthal, The New Republic, 8 Dec. 2022 But acts of ethnic cleansing have been well documented, committed not just by the government and Eritrean forces, but also by the Tigrayans. Lauren Jackson, New York Times, 11 Dec. 2022 The International Court of Justice in The Hague has been investigating allegations of ethnic cleansing through mass murder and systematic rape. Dallas News, 14 Mar. 2022 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'ethnic cleansing.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

1991, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of ethnic cleansing was in 1991

Dictionary Entries Near ethnic cleansing

Cite this Entry

“Ethnic cleansing.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 2 Jun. 2023.

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