genre

noun
\ˈzhän-rə, 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

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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
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Recent Examples on the Web

The cliché of the mad artist is such a staple of this genre that what Deluc and Cassel are attempting to dramatize here – a fusing of the outlaw and the artist – can easily be undervalued. Peter Rainer, The Christian Science Monitor, "'Gauguin: Voyage to Tahiti' chronicles Gauguin’s desire to see a new way," 13 July 2018 Hereditary, the horror movie that has been lauded as a modern masterpiece of the genre, is an interesting case. Katherine Fusco, The Atlantic, "Hereditary and the Monstrousness of Creative Moms," 11 July 2018 In fact, the McGill video owes its existence in part to an exemplar of the genre. Brian Barrett, WIRED, "A ‘Cancer Cure’ Video Skewered Bad Science—and Went Viral Itself," 10 July 2018 And as a lover of classic rock, McNamara would doubtless have appreciated that his memorial service was book-ended by two of the genre’s most beautiful, and most hopeful, songs. Chris Kaltenbach, baltimoresun.com, "Capital Gazette's John McNamara eulogized as exemplary reporter who loved sports, community journalism," 10 July 2018 These events became incredibly culturally significant with performances by seminal artists of the genre like Jerry Lee Lewis. Liz Ohanesian, Los Angeles Magazine, "For 70-Plus Years, Art Laboe Has Brought People Together Over the Radio Waves and IRL," 27 June 2018 Live music at Motor City Pride The annual Motor City Pride festival offers two full days of music spread across four stages spanning all genres, including hip-hop, rock, neo-soul, R&B and dance. Jeff Milo, Detroit Free Press, "Detroit music this weekend: Free summer festivals deliver the sounds," 7 June 2018 With performances from country superstars like Carrie Underwood and Jason Aldean, and more nominations than ever from stars outside of country music, the show will have fans of all genres singing along and rooting for their favorite stars. Madison Roberts, PEOPLE.com, "Everything You Need to Know About the 2018 CMT Awards: From Nominees to Performers!," 6 June 2018 Escape to Victory and Fever Pitch remain the high watermarks of the genre - although the latter features little on the pitch scenes. SI.com, "Jamie Vardy Admits He's Unsure if Hollywood Is After 'Fairytale' World Cup Ending to Complete Biopic," 25 May 2018

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.

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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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Learn More about genre

Dictionary Entries near genre

genospecies

genotype

-genous

genre

genro

gens

gens d'église

Statistics for genre

Last Updated

19 Oct 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for genre

The first known use of genre was in 1770

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More Definitions for genre

genre

noun

English Language Learners Definition of genre

: a particular type or category of literature or art

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More from Merriam-Webster on genre

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for genre

Spanish Central: Translation of genre

Nglish: Translation of genre for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of genre for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about genre

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