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

Beers with some sort of fruity component have become pretty commonplace in the lighter beer world, and exhibit A is the radler genre. Markus Haas, San Antonio Express-News, "Your guide to 8 great summer beers," 12 July 2018 Newspaper movies were a very popular genre in Hollywood at a time when a daily paper was the overwhelming choice for staying current with events. Ruthe Stein, SFChronicle.com, "Newspaper movies get a resurgence: Rob Reiner’s ‘Shock and Awe’ the latest," 5 July 2018 These sorts of sensory illusions are a common genre of online media, from the famous blue/gold dress to the picture of Reese Witherspoon with three legs. An Xiao Mina, The Atlantic, "That Merkel Photo Is More Like a Meme Than a Renaissance Painting," 11 June 2018 There are different expectations for your wardrobe depending on your gender and your genre. Brooke Bobb, Vogue, "Maggie Rogers’s Personal Style Is a Mix of a “Space Cowgirl and San Francisco Art Teacher”—She Tells Us Why," 18 Mar. 2019 But other than their genre and box office successes, the films—and their heroes—are nothing alike. Jill Gutowitz, Glamour, "Captain Marvel Is a New Kind of Female Hero," 11 Mar. 2019 And with each of the different multiverse characters embodying their own genres, there are plenty of different gags to play with. Bryan Bishop, The Verge, "Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse is dazzling, hilarious, and unique," 14 Dec. 2018 Magical realism was her favorite genre of literature. Adam Cayton-holland, Good Housekeeping, "Watching My Little Sister Battle Depression Was Incredibly Difficult. Then Things Got Worse.," 20 Aug. 2018 Known for his genre crossing music which includes rock, pop, folk, electronic and more, Einaudi makes a stop in Atlanta at Symphony Hall during his 2018 North American tour. Nedra Rhone, ajc, "Things to do in and around Atlanta on Wednesday, July 11," 11 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

18 May 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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