eth·​nic·​i·​ty | \ eth-ˈni-sə-tē How to pronounce ethnicity (audio) \
plural ethnicities

Definition of ethnicity

1 : ethnic quality or affiliation aspects of ethnicity
2 : a particular ethnic affiliation or group students of diverse ethnicities

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Synonyms for ethnicity


nation, nationality, race

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Examples of ethnicity in a Sentence

a university that aggressively recruits a student body of diverse ethnicities

Recent Examples on the Web

The former, like religion, ethnicity, and hereditary conditions, may be passed on from generation to generation. Masha Gessen, The New Yorker, "Coming Out, and Rising Up, in the Fifty Years After Stonewall," 28 June 2019 To mollify those concerns, the new law requires police to note the race and ethnicity of those who are ticketed for texting while driving. John Maines,, "Will race matter when cops ticket for texting and driving? We looked at seat belt citations to find out.," 27 June 2019 The Equal Pay Act was updated in 2015, making it no longer a requirement for an employee to prove that gender, race or ethnicity was a motivating factor for being paid less than other colleagues, said Maas’ attorney, Joshua Gruenberg. San Diego Union-Tribune, "Former news anchor files gender discrimination lawsuit against KUSI," 26 June 2019 Cayton is not only a gathering space for families of various economic backgrounds, races, religions and ethnicities. Jessica Gelt,, "The Cayton rethinks what a children’s museum can be in 2019," 20 June 2019 Follow him on Twitter at ___ Russell Contreras is a member of The Associated Press’ race and ethnicity team. Washington Post, "Democrats’ use of Spanish in debate evokes praise, eye rolls," 27 June 2019 Few entities in the state appear to track the ethnicity of people shot by police., "Police shootings in Arizona," 19 June 2019 His Palestinian ethnicity was called into question by critics in his own party — clearly his judgment was clouded by his otherness, just like Democratic Rep. Rashida Tlaib, also a Palestinian. Lorraine Ali,, "From ‘Aladdin’ to Galaxy’s Edge, how Hollywood interprets Arab culture," 14 June 2019 But portraying guests of other ethnicities would have given the movie more balance. Soren Andersen, The Seattle Times, "‘Hotel Mumbai’ review: a horrifying tale of 2008 terrorist attack," 26 Mar. 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'ethnicity.' 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 ethnicity

1920, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Statistics for ethnicity

Last Updated

21 Jul 2019

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Time Traveler for ethnicity

The first known use of ethnicity was in 1920

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More from Merriam-Webster on ethnicity

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with ethnicity

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for ethnicity

Britannica English: Translation of ethnicity for Arabic Speakers Encyclopedia article about ethnicity

Comments on ethnicity

What made you want to look up ethnicity? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


an act or instance of editing or removing

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