genre

noun \ ˈzhän-rə , ˈzhäⁿ- ; ˈzhäⁿr ; ˈjän-rə \
Updated on: 9 Dec 2017

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

Examples of genre in a Sentence

  1. 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 OatesNew York Review of Books14 Aug. 2003
  2. 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. RobertsNewsweek2 Sept. 2002
  3. 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
  4. This book is a classic of the mystery genre.

  5. the novel's hero is of a different genre than the traditional kind

Recent Examples of genre from the Web

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.

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.

Origin and Etymology of genre

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


GENRE Defined for English Language Learners

genre

noun

Definition of genre for English Language Learners

  • : a particular type or category of literature or art



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