genre

noun
\ 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

Keep scrolling for more

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
See More

Recent Examples on the Web

The act, on its own, is an entire genre of dumb YouTube videos. Si.com Staff, SI.com, "Nine Innings: The Yankees' Greatest Need, Unlikely All-Stars and Midsummer Classic Changes," 11 June 2018 Away comes to Netflix as space dramas continue to be a hot genre on both the big and small screens. Lesley Goldberg, The Hollywood Reporter, "Jason Katims Space Drama Ordered to Series at Netflix," 10 June 2018 Today’s revitalization policies are organized around corporations, sports, and country music, a stylistically diverse but overwhelmingly white genre. Justin Davidson, Daily Intelligencer, "Downtown Nashville Is Supposed to Be the Model of the Walkable 21st-Century City. I’m Not So Sure.," 8 June 2018 The genre is a full-blown phenomenon that spans all different types of media. Glamour, "The Best True-Crime TV Shows You Can Stream Right Now," 28 Mar. 2019 Talk about that on the opposite end, because that was sort of in that genre too, is putting up funny pictures sharing funny pictures, which didn’t thrive. Eric Johnson, Recode, "How Imgur avoids the ugliness of social media," 26 Dec. 2018 There's been a regression in diversity in the country music genre. Emma Dibdin, Country Living, "Shania Twain Opens Up About the Tragedy That Drove Her to Succeed," 13 Nov. 2018 Either way, her sound is a refreshingly ambitious experiment with genre-defying results. New York Times, "13 Pop, Rock and Jazz Concerts to Check Out in N.Y.C. This Weekend," 21 June 2018 But the romantic comedy is one of the few genres of movie that's largely by, for, and about women. Marie Claire, "Feminist Writers Re-Write the Endings to 3 Classic Rom-Coms," 15 Feb. 2019

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.

See More

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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about genre

Dictionary Entries near genre

genospecies

genotype

-genous

genre

genro

gens

gens d'église

Statistics for genre

Last Updated

20 Apr 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for genre

The first known use of genre was in 1770

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for genre

genre

noun

English Language Learners Definition of genre

: a particular type or category of literature or art

Keep scrolling for more

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

What made you want to look up genre? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

to affect and impair by alcohol or a drug

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Words from Greek and Latin Quiz

  • roman forum
  • Which of the following months comes from a Latin word for “ten”?
How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!

TAKE THE QUIZ
SCRABBLE® Sprint

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!