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

As Nathan Mattise wrote in April: Batman Ninja's loving genre homages all strike the right tone. Sam Machkovech And Nathan Mattise, Ars Technica, "Films for the discerning nerd: Ars picks the best of 2018," 27 Dec. 2018 Overall, the winners were evenly dispersed and featured a wide array of genres and styles. Christopher Rosa, Glamour, "All the Winners at the 2018 MTV VMAs," 21 Aug. 2018 The company has released its first genuine hit in the genre, continuing to expand into territory that most Hollywood studios have abandoned lately. David Sims, The Atlantic, "Can Netflix’s Set It Up Help Revive the Romantic Comedy?," 21 June 2018 The upcoming projects carve openings for women in genres where previously, there hadn’t been ample (read: any) opportunity. refinery29.com, "No More “But With Women” Remakes. Just Make Better Movies For Women.," 13 June 2018 Shortly after, Purple Moon, a game company that helped pioneer the genre, launched Rockett’s New School, a computer game that followed a junior high schooler navigating her way through friendships, classes, and general teen-girl drama. Marie Claire, "She's Got Game," 5 Dec. 2018 Anna and the Apocalypse is an extremely clever mash-up of several beloved genres that seems too odd on paper to work: zombie movie, Christmas story, and high school musical. Nathan Mattise, Ars Technica, "Anna and the Apocalypse: A zombie-Christmas-high school musical can’t be this good," 1 Dec. 2018 This isn't the first time the singer has paid homage to the genre with his covers. Sara Delgado, Teen Vogue, "Zayn Covered Beloved Bollywood Song "Allah Duhai Hai"," 20 Nov. 2018 In an exclusive interview with CountryLiving.com, Holmes opens up about her favorite genres and what inspires her the most. Kelly O'sullivan, Country Living, "'The Voice' Frontrunner Kennedy Holmes Has Some Serious Plans for Her Career After the Show," 6 Nov. 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

12 Jan 2019

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

Comments on genre

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