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

Since the mid-20th century, holiday television programming in America has become its own genre. Liz Arcury, Marie Claire, "The 8 Best Celebrity Holiday Specials Ever," 29 Nov. 2018 The episodes take place in different places, and there are also different genres: there’s a fairy tale, a black comedy, a horror movie, a film noir, and so on. Adam Rathe, Town & Country, "Matthew Weiner Says Being a Romanoff Is "Almost Like Saying You’re a Kennedy"," 14 Oct. 2018 Though he was billed primarily as a rapper, XXXTentacion also dabbled in genres like punk and emo, favoring a lo-fi aesthetic that came from recording at home instead of in professional studios. New York Times, "XXXTentacion Signed $10 Million Album Deal Before His Death," 8 July 2018 Darwin began working tirelessly in creating new songs and trying out different musical genres. Billboard Venezuela, Billboard, "Meet New Latin American Music Sensation D'Brilliant," 6 July 2018 Rosie Flores Texas favorite has dabbled in multiple genres and toured the world. Joey Guerra, Houston Chronicle, "Concerts in Houston: 30 Seconds to Mars and Rosie Flores," 3 July 2018 Why approach the topic through these different genres? Emily Mcfarlan Miller, Washington Post, "Ever-evolving influence of a ‘Bible nerd’-turned author," 22 June 2018 Attendees can also learn more about the works of local authors, including Anita Britt, DeAnn Jennings, Shervin Yousefian and Jennifer Berry, who have published books in different genres, including children’s stories, photography and ghost stories. Alejandra Reyes-velarde, latimes.com, "Adams Hill to host its first free book exchange," 12 June 2018 Johnson specializes in the sole genres where stage actors have much creative control: solo performance and character work. Lily Janiak, San Francisco Chronicle, "CounterPulse artists forge agency with ‘Barn Owl’," 25 May 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

9 Feb 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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