mis·​ce·​ge·​na·​tion (ˌ)mi-ˌse-jə-ˈnā-shən How to pronounce miscegenation (audio)
: a mixture of races
especially : marriage, cohabitation, or sexual intercourse between a white person and a member of another race (see race entry 1 sense 1a)

Note: The word miscegenation is associated especially with historical laws against interracial marriage. In the United States, such laws were declared unconstitutional in 1967.

miscegenational adjective

Examples of miscegenation in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web In 1934, the Production Code, colloquially known as the Hays Code, was adopted by the industry, officially disallowing onscreen miscegenation and interracial romance. Mayukh Sen, The New Yorker, 30 Aug. 2023 At first, the musical comedy resembled a plotless revue — until the arrival of Show Boat in 1927, a melodrama about miscegenation with lofty aspirations. Vulture, 28 Mar. 2023 Many of the traditional dishes are the product of miscegenation and mixed foods that were consumed in Europe with others that were consumed by indigenous peoples, such as broad beans or nopales. Imelda García, Dallas News, 17 Mar. 2023 Because of the fears of miscegenation in the early 20th century scholars had a strong bias toward finding the data to confirm the assumption that admixture between divergent human kinds resulted in a breakdown and depression in trait value in relation to both parental lineages. Razib Khan, Discover Magazine, 7 July 2011 Alice is Asian, and the couple's union violates Montana's miscegenation laws. Matt Cabral, EW.com, 27 Feb. 2023 The court also upheld miscegenation laws 9–0 in the 1883 case Pace v. Alabama. Brynn Tannehill, The New Republic, 11 Jan. 2023 Cameron is dedicated to F/X, advancing Avatar’s loathing of the U.S. military to new perversion: the genuine fascination/fetishization of white–blue miscegenation. Armond White, National Review, 21 Dec. 2022 These duties included not raping Black women on the side and contributing to miscegenation. Laura Mallonee, Smithsonian Magazine, 21 Nov. 2022

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'miscegenation.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


irregular from Latin miscēre to mix + genus race — more at mix, kin

First Known Use

1863, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of miscegenation was in 1863

Dictionary Entries Near miscegenation

Cite this Entry

“Miscegenation.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/miscegenation. Accessed 27 May. 2024.

Kids Definition


mis·​ce·​ge·​na·​tion (ˌ)mis-ˌej-ə-ˈnā-shən How to pronounce miscegenation (audio)
: a mixture of races
especially : marriage, cohabitation, or sexual intercourse between a white person and a member of another race
used especially in now repealed laws of the past

More from Merriam-Webster on miscegenation

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