geno·​cide | \ ˈje-nə-ˌsīd How to pronounce genocide (audio) \

Definition of genocide

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

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Other Words from genocide

genocidal \ ˌje-​nə-​ˈsī-​dᵊl How to pronounce genocidal (audio) \ adjective

Examples of genocide in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web During a red-hot summer marked in part by toppled monuments to slavery and genocide, a petition arose, directed at Tennessee lawmakers, calling for Parton to be pedestalled instead. Lauren Michele Jackson, The New Yorker, "The United States of Dolly Parton," 12 Oct. 2020 Coercive reproductive limits and the transfer of children from one group to another may constitute genocide or crimes against humanity. Emilie Kao, National Review, "Religious Persecution in China Must Be Called Out," 11 Oct. 2020 Even then, Handke's prize caused a storm due to his previous support for the 1990s Serbian government of Slobodan Milošević, who was indicted for genocide and other war crimes. NBC News, "Louise Glück, American poet, wins Nobel Prize for Literature," 8 Oct. 2020 The Nobel Prize was then subsequently awarded to two Europeans, one of whom has been trailed for years by accusations of genocide denial based on his writings about the Balkan Wars of the 1990s. Alex Shephard, The New Republic, "Who Will Win the 2020 Nobel Prize in Literature?," 6 Oct. 2020 He is accused of genocide and crimes against humanity for equipping militias that killed more than 800,000 ethnic Tutsis and moderate Hutus who tried to protect them. Mike Corder, Star Tribune, "Rwandan genocide suspect seeks transfer to The Hague," 5 Oct. 2020 When applied to the Holocaust in particular and genocide in general, the notion of the desk killer turns out to be a serviceable taxonomical tool. Washington Post, "Killing millions from behind their desks," 25 Sep. 2020 Columbus, whose voyage to the Americas was commissioned by Spain, was accused of genocide and carried out the enslavement of natives. Christopher Brito, CBS News, "Dozens of Christopher Columbus statues have been removed since June," 25 Sep. 2020 Those who built the United Nations 75 years ago had lived through a pandemic, a global depression, genocide and world war. Rick Gladstone, New York Times, "Trump Demands U.N. Hold China to Account for Coronavirus Pandemic," 22 Sep. 2020

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.

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First Known Use of genocide

1944, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for genocide

geno- + -cide

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Time Traveler for genocide

Time Traveler

The first known use of genocide was in 1944

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Statistics for genocide

Last Updated

18 Oct 2020

Cite this Entry

“Genocide.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 26 Oct. 2020.

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More Definitions for genocide


How to pronounce genocide (audio)

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 How to pronounce genocide (audio) \

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 How to pronounce genocidal (audio) \ adjective


geno·​cide | \ ˈje-nə-ˌsīd How to pronounce genocide (audio) \

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

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