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

Lindsey is no stranger to working with celebrities across various genres of music. Kayla Keegan, Good Housekeeping, "'Dancing With the Stars' Trio Guest Lindsey Stirling Was Once Blasted on 'America's Got Talent'," 16 Oct. 2018 The main genre here is jazz—anything from bebop and contemporary jazz to Latin jazz and big bands. Carrie Hutchinson, Condé Nast Traveler, "10 Best Venues & Places for Live Music in Melbourne," 10 Sep. 2018 While a watershed moment for the game, as NBA players and EDM DJs took the stage with e-sport pros, the event certainly showed how strained the battle royale genre can be in an e-sports setting. Nick Statt, The Verge, "Epic’s Summer Skirmish series was a beta for the future of competitive Fortnite," 6 Sep. 2018 And while there was a dearth of rom-coms for a while in Hollywood, the genre is once again on the upswing, and Noah sees it as a way to challenge the traditional machismo that Hollywood has been selling for far too long. Ella Cerón, Teen Vogue, "Noah Centineo Wants You to Find Your Own Peter Kavinsky," 6 Sep. 2018 From album covers to concert posters, each genre of music comes equipped with its own visual language that often feels like an extension of the music itself. Ryan Patrick Hooper, Detroit Free Press, "Cranbrook's 'Too Fast to Live' exhibit celebrates the art of punk rock," 14 June 2018 Journalist Mark Kurlansky is known for popularizing a niche genre of general interest historical non-fiction. Elaheh Nozari, Bon Appetit, "8 Non-Cookbook Food Books to Read This Summer," 11 June 2018 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

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

30 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

Comments on genre

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