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

Deafheaven has never fit neatly into any one genre. Greg Kot, chicagotribune.com, "Deafheaven review: A duel between catharsis and melodrama on 'Ordinary Corrupt Human Love'," 13 July 2018 Netflix, for example, has spent roughly half a decade building up a stockpile of original shows and movies that now number in the hundreds and stretches across virtually all genres. Daniel Arkin /, NBC News, "Apple's script for conquering Hollywood is a mystery so far," 13 July 2018 Over their 40 years of friendship and on-and-off musical collaboration, their careers have run in tandem, with both having assembled staggeringly broad catalogs of work, defying genre classification and commercial convention. Joshua Zucker, SFChronicle.com, "John Zorn and Bill Laswell make rare duo appearance at the Chapel," 11 July 2018 Many of the artists in urban genres such as reggaeton and hip hop, which have been critical of the Cuban government, do not hold state permits to perform in public. Nora Gámez Torres, miamiherald, "Cuba imposes more taxes and controls on private sector and increases censorship on the arts," 10 July 2018 Like reality, the film is a genre mash-up in the most satisfying of ways—part workplace comedy, part existential drama, with elements of science fiction. Jason Parham, WIRED, "Sorry to Bother You: A Dizzying Satire That Hungers for Truth," 7 July 2018 For the past seven years, Frankfort Bluegrass on the Green has continued to grow and become a destination for top national bands, regional talent and lovers of this musical genre. Susan Demar Lafferty, Daily Southtown, "Frankfort Bluegrass Festival continues to grow," 6 July 2018 Within just a few years, the medium was spanning continents as well as genres. Mark Feeney, BostonGlobe.com, "At Yale: on the threshold and under the volcano," 6 July 2018 No shows are alike, so the audience can expect to hear music genres from classical to jazz and everything in between. Anne Dunlap, OrlandoSentinel.com, "Drum Corps International marches into Orlando," 6 July 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

7 Sep 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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