\ ˈzhän-rə How to pronounce genre (audio) , ˈzhäⁿ-; ˈzhäⁿr; ˈjän-rə \

Definition of genre

1 : a category of artistic, musical, or literary composition characterized by a particular style, form, or content a classic of the gothic novel genre
2 : kind, sort
3 : painting that depicts scenes or events from everyday life usually realistically

Did you know?

Genre, as you might guess from the way it sounds, comes straight from French, a language based on Latin. It's closely related to genus, a word you may have encountered in biology class. Both words contain the gen- root because they indicate that everything in a particular category (a genre or a genus) belongs to the same "family" and thus has the same origins. So the main genres of classical music would include symphonies, sonatas, and opera, and the major genres of literature would include novels, short stories, poetry, and drama. But within the category of novels, we could also say that detective novels, sci-fi novels, romance novels, and young-adult novels are separate genres.

Examples of genre in a Sentence

In genre fiction there is an implied contract between writer and reader that justice of a kind will be exacted; "good" may not always triumph over "evil," but the distinction between the two must be honored. — Joyce Carol Oates, New York Review of Books, 14 Aug. 2003 One of the first marketers outside of hip-hop to recognize the power of the genre …  . he first sent models sashaying down the runway in 1991 in hip-hop chic, with sneakers and chunky gold chains … — Johnnie L. Roberts, Newsweek, 2 Sept. 2002 Even the local Catholic archdiocesan weekly, hardly an exciting genre, offers a more provocative sampling of opinion on its editorial page. — Walker Percy, "New Orleans Mon Amour," 1968, in Signposts in a Strange Land1991 This book is a classic of the mystery genre. the novel's hero is of a different genre than the traditional kind
Recent Examples on the Web The horror genre is one of the most undervalued art forms in the space of critical accolades. Clayton Davis, Variety, 5 May 2022 Likewise, the genre has not always been a welcoming place for people of color. Amanda Petrusich, The New Yorker, 9 Apr. 2022 The Hood, the show delivered classic gangster flick-level quality every week, bringing the uncompromising gruesomeness and sociological commentary on drug dealing and addiction of the best from the genre. Keith Nelson, Men's Health, 8 Apr. 2022 The Vacheron Constantin Traditionelle Perpetual Calendar Chrono is a new high watermark for the genre. Paige Reddinger, Robb Report, 30 Mar. 2022 And now, the Grammy-winning musician has poured his love for the genre into an original tribute that promises to be one of 2022’s most gorgeous releases. Ernesto Lechner, Rolling Stone, 29 Mar. 2022 Although the Afrobeats genre has been around since the 1960s, created by Fela Kuti, a musician who blended funk, West African music, and jazz, the rest of the world seems to finally be taking notice. Jasmine Browley, Essence, 24 Mar. 2022 Cracow Monsters on your list of titles from the genre to watch next. Andy Meek, BGR, 21 Mar. 2022 And to me, the most traditionally cinematic genre in American cinema is the Western. Clark Collis,, 19 Mar. 2022 See More

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

First Known Use of genre

1770, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for genre

French, from Middle French, kind, gender — more at gender

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Last Updated

12 May 2022

Cite this Entry

“Genre.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 19 May. 2022.

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More from Merriam-Webster on genre

Nglish: Translation of genre for Spanish Speakers

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


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