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

In the 1990s, hostel dwellers of different ethnicities fought each other in battles so fierce that South Africa teetered on the brink of civil war. Washington Post, "What’s driving anti-immigrant violence in South Africa? It’s not just economic anxiety.," 11 Sep. 2019 And within the school, the staff encourages kids to mingle by setting core classes to have roughly the same balance of students of different ethnicities. Meg Wingerter, The Denver Post, "More than half of Denver’s public schools are segregated, 25 years after busing ended," 8 Sep. 2019 Related work shows that people across different ethnicities perceive their out-groups to lack traits considered uniquely human or essential to human nature. K.n.c., The Economist, "Societies are tearing apart, but they can be brought together," 14 Aug. 2019 The fans are of all different ethnicities, skin colors, gender, ages etc. Allie Gemmill, Teen Vogue, "The BTS ARMY Called Out "Saturday Night Live" for Misjudging BTS Fans," 11 Apr. 2019 The ads, all approved by Facebook, were in some cases blatantly racist: One housing ad contained a headline specifically saying people of certain ethnicities need not apply; another was looking for a white tenant. Mike Rosenberg, The Seattle Times, "Facebook must end discriminatory ad practice under deal with Washington Attorney General," 24 July 2018 When examining race and ethnicity, the study found that 70% of female characters in speaking roles were white, up 3 percentage points from the previous year. Yvonne Villarrealstaff Writer, Los Angeles Times, "77% of TV shows have no women creators. Here’s how that ripples across the industry," 4 Sep. 2019 In a few years, corporate C-Suites and board room tables could reflect a balanced representation across gender, race and ethnicity. Mary Kilpatrick,, "Big companies are working to improve representation at the top," 21 Aug. 2019 Tang reported from Phoenix and is a member of the AP’s race and ethnicity team. Terry Tang, The Denver Post, "Trump’s fake accent angers Asian Americans as they veer left," 22 Aug. 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

13 Oct 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

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