geno·cide | \ˈje-nə-ˌsīd \

Definition of genocide 

: the deliberate and systematic destruction of a racial, political, or cultural group

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from genocide

genocidal \ˌje-nə-ˈsī-dᵊl \ adjective

Examples of genocide in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

When Microsoft's chatbot Tay was released on Twitter in 2016, the bot quickly proved a hit with racists and trolls who taught it to defend white supremacists, call for genocide and express a fondness for Hitler. Christopher Carbone, Fox News, "Meet 'Norman,' a terrifying, psychopathic AI," 4 June 2018 During his entire political career, Deukmejian attempted to get official recognition for the genocide. Claudia Luther And Richard C. Paddock,, "George Deukmejian dead at 89, public safety and law-and-order dominated two-term governor's agenda," 9 May 2018 Thanos, as an all-powerful giant purple space-maniac, arrives at an alternative argument for more intergalactic genocide. Christopher Orr, The Atlantic, "Avengers: Infinity War Is an Extraordinary Juggling Act," 26 Apr. 2018 New international courts have led to a rise in accountability for genocide. The Christian Science Monitor, "Trump’s attack on Syria: a bias for hope?," 16 Apr. 2018 Unlike Radovan Karadzic and Ratko Mladic, the most prominent Serbian figures to have been sentenced, Seselj was not tried for genocide. John Hermse,, "International Tribunal Convicts Serbian Nationalist of Crimes Against Humanity," 11 Apr. 2018 Carmen Yulin Cruz, the mayor of San Juan, Puerto Rico, criticized the Trump administration's response in Puerto Rico and publicly confronted FEMA at a news conference, saying the lack of better assistance could be described as genocide. Joel Shannon, USA TODAY, "FEMA admits shortcomings in 2017 hurricane response," 12 July 2018 Adam Davidson, a New Yorker staff writer, compared the tweet to World War II Nazi propaganda, which demonized Jews and served as a tool in the Hitler regime's calls for mass deportations and eventual genocide. Angela Forburger, azcentral, "Huckabee criticized for 'bigotry' over tweet aimed at Dems showing Latino MS-13 gang members," 23 June 2018 In the book, 10-year-old Gaby’s idyllic childhood slips away when war and genocide erupt in his home of Burundi. Time Staff, Time, "22 New Books to Read This Summer," 22 May 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'genocide.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

See More

First Known Use of genocide

1944, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for genocide

geno- + -cide

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about genocide

Dictionary Entries near genocide


genoa jib




genoese jib


Statistics for genocide

Last Updated

11 Oct 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for genocide

The first known use of genocide was in 1944

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for genocide



English Language Learners Definition of genocide

: the deliberate killing of people who belong to a particular racial, political, or cultural group


geno·cide | \ˈjen-ə-ˌsīd \

Medical Definition of genocide 

: the deliberate and systematic destruction of a racial, political, or cultural group — compare homicide

Other Words from genocide

genocidal \ˌjen-ə-ˈsīd-ᵊl \ adjective


geno·cide | \ˈje-nə-ˌsīd \

Legal Definition of genocide 

: acts committed with intent to partially or wholly destroy a national, ethnic, racial, or religious group also : the crime of committing such an act

Keep scrolling for more

More from Merriam-Webster on genocide

Spanish Central: Translation of genocide

Nglish: Translation of genocide for Spanish Speakers

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

Comments on genocide

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


required by fashion, etiquette, or custom

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Great Scrabble Words—A Quiz

  • scrabble-tiles-that-read-scrabble-quiz
  • Which of the following Q-without-U words means the number five in cards or dice?
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!


Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.


Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!