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

Lee, who created beloved titles like Spider-Man, Black Panther, The Incredible Hulk and hundreds more, helped to change the superhero archetype and became one of the genre’s defining figures in the process. Janelle Okwodu, Vogue, "Remembering Stan Lee, the Marvel Comics Legend, Dies at 95," 12 Nov. 2018 Fans of the genre will be able to recognize right away that this show’s a winner, though. Noel Murray, The Verge, "This weekend, stream some ‘Nordic noir’ on Netflix, starting with Deadwind," 9 Nov. 2018 As a fan of the genre, Lisa couldn't resist paying homage to some of the movies that inspired her set design. Candace Braun Davison, House Beautiful, "Netflix Has Hidden All Kinds Of Easter Eggs In The Chilling Adventures Of Sabrina House," 25 Oct. 2018 The dancehall diva is an OG of the genre and kills every performance with her dazzling, form-fitting bodysuits. Sharine Taylor, Allure, "For These Dancehall Artists, Hair Is Just as Important as the Music," 27 Sep. 2018 While Shelton was long-recognized as a big player in the country music world, few outside of the genre knew his name. Sasha Savitsky, Fox News, "Blake Shelton: From small-town Oklahoma boy to country superstar," 10 Aug. 2018 In 2014, Jabari Johnson, CEO of COLORS Worldwide Inc., founded R&B ONLY, a music event that catered to playing music for lovers of the genre. Ashley Lyle, Billboard, "How 'R&B ONLY' Events Bring the Culture to a 'Whole Other Space'," 2 July 2018 That 2004 ticket, now on display in Little Big Town‘s new exhibit at the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum, puts in a nutshell the quartet’s long and difficult climb to the upper echelons of the genre. Nancy Kruh, PEOPLE.com, "Little Big Town Exhibit Showcases Career Highs, Lows — and a One-of-a-Kind Gift from Taylor Swift," 29 June 2018 And the artifice — just the artifice of the genre — became overwhelming. Rebecca Farley, refinery29.com, "The Director Of This Year's Cutest Rom-Com Is Determined To Revive The Romantic Comedy," 14 June 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

16 Nov 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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