ra·​cial ˈrā-shəl How to pronounce racial (audio)
: of, relating to, or based on a race (see race entry 1 sense 1a)
a racial minority
: existing or occurring between races (see race entry 1 sense 1a)
racial equality
racially adverb

Examples of racial in a Sentence

What is your racial identity? There was racial tension on campus.
Recent Examples on the Web In 2019, Smollett went to the police in Chicago, claiming that he was assaulted by two men outside of his apartment who also put a noose around his neck and called him racial slurs. Ethan Millman, Rolling Stone, 1 Dec. 2023 Brannon also had a rifle with a Cyrillic message that referred to death and a racial slur, as well as a thumb drive with a recording of the Christchurch, New Zealand, white supremacist mass shooting, the plea deal says in a statement of facts that Brannon agreed to. Phil Helsel, NBC News, 1 Dec. 2023 This is a newer term, that is meant to encompass a broader degree of consumers with differences, not just from a racial or ethnic diversity standpoint. Sonia Thompson, Forbes, 30 Nov. 2023 The main point of our book was to go deeper than the weeds, to the very roots of racial bias. Robert Samuels, The New Yorker, 27 Nov. 2023 Those heinous views include calls to curb Muslim immigration — for which Wilders was once convicted of insulting a racial group — and ban mosques and the Quran. Ishaan Tharoor, Washington Post, 27 Nov. 2023 Among the challenges facing Annapolis and other military academies is the pursuit of racial diversity after the Supreme Court ruling in June that rejected affirmative action in college admissions. Nick Anderson The Washington Post, arkansasonline.com, 25 Nov. 2023 The report had led to the banishment of Ramona Singer, a long-running figure in the Bravo behemoth, from the conference, after she was exposed for allegedly using a racial slur. Doreen St. Félix, The New Yorker, 17 Nov. 2023 McCollum was attacked in April 2018 in Biddeford by the men, who taunted and shouted racial slurs from their vehicle before a confrontation in which McCollum was struck in the jaw. Melissa Noel, Essence, 16 Nov. 2023 See More

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

Word History


race entry 1 + -ial

First Known Use

1854, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of racial was in 1854

Dictionary Entries Near racial

Cite this Entry

“Racial.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/racial. Accessed 10 Dec. 2023.

Kids Definition


ra·​cial ˈrā-shəl How to pronounce racial (audio)
: of, relating to, or based on race
racially adverb

Medical Definition


ra·​cial ˈrā-shəl How to pronounce racial (audio)
: of, relating to, or based on a race

More from Merriam-Webster on racial

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