Definition of ghetto
- a geriatric ghetto
- the pink-collar ghetto
He grew up in the ghetto.
These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'ghetto.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.
The etymology of Italian ghetto was formerly the subject of much speculation, but today there is little doubt that the word comes from the Italian dialect form ghèto, meaning “foundry.” A foundry for cannons was once located on an island that forms part of Venice, where in 1516 the Venetians restricted Jewish residence. The word ghèto became the name for the area and was borrowed into standard Italian as ghetto, with the meaning of “section of a city where Jews are forced to live.” From there it passed into most other European languages. Since the late 19th century, the meaning of ghetto has been extended to crowded urban districts where other ethnic or racial groups have been confined by poverty or prejudice.
What made you want to look up ghetto? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).
Star Wars Words Quiz