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 like many young groups in that genre, the band started to incorporate numerous other textures into their songs, including healthy doses of jazz, rock and even Celtic folk. Ross Raihala, Twin Cities, "Trampled by Turtles and Railroad Earth headline the region’s largest bluegrass festival in Eau Claire," 6 June 2019 Even though Glee gave me an education in popular western music, the show also affirmed for me the power of music in any genre. Aamina Khan, Teen Vogue, ""Glee" Introduced Me to Madonna and Gave Me a Western Music Education I Still Value 10 Years After the Show's Premiere," 24 May 2019 The first two entries in the John Wick series became immediate cult phenomena, attracting admirers who might not traditionally find anything of note in the action genre. Keaton Bell, Vogue, "Inside the World Premiere of John Wick: Chapter 3—Parabellum," 13 May 2019 For some reason, every book in the self-improvement genre veers into evolutionary biology or what some study about dopamine and rats tells us about human accomplishment. Kate Bachelder Odell, WSJ, "‘Atomic Habits’ and ‘The Bullet Journal Method’ Review: New Year’s Baby Steps," 31 Dec. 2018 The music selection was so diverse, varying in its decades and genres, from Les Mis to ACDC with Top 40 in between. Aamina Khan, Teen Vogue, ""Glee" Introduced Me to Madonna and Gave Me a Western Music Education I Still Value 10 Years After the Show's Premiere," 24 May 2019 The beloved, but inevitably doomed, adventure genre. Michael Thompson, Ars Technica, "Drawn together: The love affair between comics and games," 24 Dec. 2018 Friends of Newcastle Library Book Sale FRI-SAT Hundreds of books for all ages in a wide-ranging selection of genres, 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Friday, 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturday, Newcastle Library, 12901 Newcastle Way, Newcastle (425-255-0111 or kcls.org). Madeline Mckenzie, The Seattle Times, "Community calendar: Great Figgy Pudding Caroling Competition, Winter Solstice Night Market, Jingle Bell Run," 5 Dec. 2018 But unlike most films of that genre, Mary Page Marlowe is concerned with finding the pathos, the melancholy beauty in a life that in most respects is unremarkable. David Rooney, The Hollywood Reporter, "'Mary Page Marlowe': Theater Review," 13 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

15 Jun 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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