ra·​cial | \ ˈrā-shəl How to pronounce racial (audio) \

Definition of racial

1 : of, relating to, or based on a race a racial minority
2 : existing or occurring between races racial equality

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from racial

racially \ ˈrā-​shə-​lē How to pronounce racially (audio) \ adverb

Synonyms & Antonyms for racial



  • nonracial
Visit the Thesaurus for More 

Examples of racial in a Sentence

What is your racial identity? There was racial tension on campus.
Recent Examples on the Web The study did not include racial data for the overall vote count but the authors are reviewing additional information in Wisconsin and other states. Caitlin Conant, CBS News, "2020 Daily Trail Markers: Trump campaign's merchandising booms during pause in rallies," 14 May 2020 But preliminary racial data show that black people are underrepresented among the ranks of those tested. Los Angeles Times, "‘We want to study you.’ For black Angelenos, coronavirus triggers fear of another Tuskegee," 10 May 2020 Milwaukee County was one of the first places in the country to release racial data for confirmed COVID-19 cases and deaths. Molly Beck, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "GOP files suit against Evers' stay-at-home order; Mike Pence visits Madison ventilator factory; Milwaukee council to send absentee ballots," 21 Apr. 2020 Most federal officials and states are not keeping track or releasing racial data on COVID-19 victims. Jayne O'donnell, USA TODAY, "'Tuskegee always looms in our minds': Some fear black Americans, hardest hit by coronavirus, may not get vaccine," 19 Apr. 2020 Summit County has not released racial data about coronavirus cases or birthdays, instead providing only an age range and how many cases are male and female. Robin Goist, cleveland, "Can releasing the number of coronavirus cases in a ZIP code identify patients?," 13 Apr. 2020 Although the pandemic has been raging for weeks in the United States, racial data are emerging slowly and piecemeal. Ann Gibbons, Science | AAAS, "How can we save black and brown lives during a pandemic? Data from past studies can point the way," 10 Apr. 2020 The Indiana data is similar to that emerging in some other major cities and states but which is still limited because most federal officials and states are not keeping track or releasing racial data on coronavirus victims. John Tuohy, Indianapolis Star, "Indiana releases demographics of coronavirus cases," 10 Apr. 2020 Although racial data on the coronavirus’ impact is so far limited, research suggests that people of colour — and Black Americans in particular — are dying at disproportionately higher rates in the United States. Brianna Provenzano, refinery29.com, "Taraji P. Henson Created Free Virtual Therapy For Black Communities Suffering From Coronavirus," 9 Apr. 2020

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'racial.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

See More

First Known Use of racial

1854, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about racial

Time Traveler for racial

Time Traveler

The first known use of racial was in 1854

See more words from the same year

Statistics for racial

Last Updated

20 May 2020

Cite this Entry

“Racial.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/racial. Accessed 2 Jun. 2020.

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for racial


How to pronounce racial (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of racial

: relating to or based on race
: existing or happening between people of different races


ra·​cial | \ ˈrā-shəl How to pronounce racial (audio) \

Kids Definition of racial

: of, relating to, or based on race a racial group

Other Words from racial

racially adverb


ra·​cial | \ ˈrā-shəl How to pronounce racial (audio) \

Medical Definition of racial

: of, relating to, or based on a race

Keep scrolling for more

More from Merriam-Webster on racial

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for racial

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with racial

Spanish Central: Translation of racial

Nglish: Translation of racial for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of racial for Arabic Speakers

Comments on racial

What made you want to look up racial? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


See Definitions and Examples »

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

May 2020 Words of the Day Quiz

  • a blooming wisteria tree
  • Which is a synonym of exiguous?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

Syn City

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!