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

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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

But Nesbø, still in his 50s, had been publishing novels a decade before the genre’s grim emergence. Scott Timberg, latimes.com, "Nordic noir master Jo Nesbø takes another dark twist with 'Knife'," 10 July 2019 Bjork, the ultimate genre-straddling artist, also sounds amazing and engaging through the Ten 5s. Vlad Savov, The Verge, "Fender Ten 5 review: all about that treble," 9 July 2019 After the untimely deaths of the Notorious B.I.G. and Tupac Shakur, the genre seemed to be in a state of confusion and uncertainty. Okla Jones, Essence, "Ma$e Brings Harlem World To New Orleans During The 25th annual Essence Festival Weekend," 8 July 2019 Gilberto was a giant of bossa nova and is often credited with helping develop the sound of the genre that brought Brazilian music to the world. Cnn.com Wire Service, The Mercury News, "João Gilberto, a pioneer of bossa nova, has died at 88," 6 July 2019 Hotel floors are named by musical genre, and suites are dedicated to icons such as Dvorak, Beethoven and Billie Holiday. Amy Tara Koch, Twin Cities, "Finding European hotel rooms for families can be tough. Here are suggestions in 8 cities.," 6 July 2019 Joao Gilberto, a Brazilian singer, guitarist and songwriter considered one of the fathers of the bossa nova genre that gained global popularity in the 1960s and became an iconic sound of the South American nation, died Saturday, his son said. Marclo Silva De Sousa, sun-sentinel.com, "Brazilian bossa nova pioneer Joao Gilberto dies at 88," 6 July 2019 In fairness, for all of its exploding rats, this genre-hopscotching epic had to give us something sweet. Ashley Hoffman, Time, "Did This One Character Completely Alter the Stranger Things Season 3 Ending? People Seem Pretty Convinced," 5 July 2019 And sure, this moody German sci-fi drama includes period-perfect scenes from the 1980s, and gangs of teenagers trying to solve the case of a missing kid—but Dark is genre escapism of an entirely different order. Taylor Antrim, Vogue, "Netflix’s Dark Is Stranger Things for Grown-Ups," 5 July 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.

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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

13 Jul 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

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