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

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 Hispanic women had the highest fertility rate of the ethnicities studied, and passed the 2,100 births per 1,000 women needed to sustain the population in 29 states. Brianna Abbott, WSJ, "At 30-Year Low, U.S. Birth Rate Shows Striking Differences Between States," 10 Jan. 2019 People are bold and creative in New York, and there are all types of ethnicities in the city. Lindsay Schallon, Glamour, "Sophie Turner on 'GoT' Wigs, Fenty Highlighter, and What She Texts Joe Jonas," 5 Nov. 2018 Some insights: Truth: The image featured four models of different ethnicities. Marci Robin, Allure, "Becca Responds to Accusations That It Darkened a Model's Hand for the Skin Love Campaign," 11 Aug. 2018 Not only were these Asian characters completely devoid of complexity, but their racial identities were also oftentimes a mash-up of different Asian ethnicities. Yerin Kim, Seventeen, "How "Crazy Rich Asians" Is Making History as a Romantic Comedy," 9 Aug. 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

7 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).


to form ideas or theories about something

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