eth·​nic·​i·​ty | \eth-ˈni-sə-tē \
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

When my modeling career took off at age 16, my mixed ethnicity set me apart. Christy Turlington Burns, Marie Claire, "Christy Turlington Burns' Immigration Story," 13 Aug. 2018 Associated Press writer Russell Contreras is a member of the AP's race and ethnicity team. Russell Contreras,, "Private jet once owned by Elvis Presley for sale — again," 18 June 2018 The list, called the Amplify Database, is made up of 815 writers and is searchable by gender, genre specialty, ethnicity and experience, and, according to its creators, will be available free to studios, showrunners and networks. New York Times, "To Diversify TV Staffs, Database of Minority Writers Is Unveiled," 28 June 2018 History, ethnicity, and questions of belonging and purpose form a rich backdrop for several of the best books for middle-grade readers this summer. Monitor Staff, The Christian Science Monitor, "Lively narrators, rich context make these middle-grade books shine," 18 June 2018 Sherman Park the neighborhood is like Jason the human being: an amalgamation of ethnicities and traditions that, in combination, create a complex and particular whole. Crocker Stephenson, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Better Angels: Singer Jason McKinney embodies the diversity that is Sherman Park," 7 May 2018 Religious anxiety is intrinsic to Israel and the Palestinian territories, with their tapestry of competing faiths, sects, ethnicities and land claims. NBC News, "Holy Land Christians feel abandoned by U.S. evangelicals," 5 May 2018 The team then turns those ideas into feasible topics, with the goal of representing people of all races, genders, and ethnicities and countries from all over the globe. Lisa Eadicicco, Time, "The First Virtual Reality Google Doodle Honors French Filmmaker Georges Méliès," 3 May 2018 Sun newsroom staff will review nominations and make selections with an eye to representing the diversity of the Baltimore metropolitan area — a range of fields, ages, races/ethnicities and towns/neighborhoods., "Nominations for The Baltimore Sun's 2018 'Women to Watch'," 1 May 2018

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

8 Dec 2018

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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

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a soft lustrous wool fabric with mohair

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