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

Definition of racial

1 : of, relating to, or based on a race (see race entry 1 sense 1a) a racial minority
2 : existing or occurring between races (see race entry 1 sense 1a) racial equality

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Other Words from racial

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

Synonyms & Antonyms for racial



  • nonracial
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Examples of racial in a Sentence

What is your racial identity? There was racial tension on campus.
Recent Examples on the Web Davis recalled him saying, while censoring out the racial slur. Davis, who is Black, is now retired from the force. Alicia Lee, CNN, "What it's like to be a black police officer, navigating two turbulent worlds," 4 May 2021 Following behind him were DaBaby, Gabby Barrett, and Morgan Wallen; however, the latter won't be a part of the show following his use of a racial slur earlier this year. Rachel Yang, EW.com, "Pink to receive Icon Award at the 2021 Billboard Music Awards: 'A true 'pinch me' moment'," 4 May 2021 Pirone also admitted to using a racial slur while detaining Grant. Rachel Swan, San Francisco Chronicle, "Family of Oscar Grant plans recall campaign against Alameda County DA," 30 Apr. 2021 At a hearing in the local court case June, the lead Georgia Bureau of Investigation agent testified that Travis McMichael said a racial slur as Arbery lay dying. Erin Donaghue, CBS News, "Three defendants in Ahmaud Arbery killing charged with federal hate crimes," 29 Apr. 2021 The program stems from an incident on social media app Tik Tok back in 2018, where students of the district were filmed chanting a racial slur. Fox News, "Dana Loesch slams Texas schools for implementation of racist lesson plans, urges parents to push back," 28 Apr. 2021 Yuen describes one scene in which the male lead, also a U.S. pilot, uses a racial slur in reference to Katsumi. Kat Moon, Time, "Yuh-Jung Youn Is an Oscar Frontrunner. There’s an Important History Behind Her Awards Season Success," 23 Apr. 2021 Yet another remembered being called a racial slur at a fraternity party. Maggie Kelleher, Dallas News, "‘#BlackAtSMU’ documentary premieres, exploring students’ experience with racism on campus," 22 Apr. 2021 Morgan Wallen, whose latest album and singles have found major success on both the country and pop charts, was declared ineligible by the ACMs after he was caught on camera using a racial slur earlier this year. Mesfin Fekadu, Anchorage Daily News, "Luke Bryan wins top country music honor, but female acts own the night at ACM awards," 19 Apr. 2021

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.

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First Known Use of racial

1854, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Statistics for racial

Last Updated

7 May 2021

Cite this Entry

“Racial.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/racial. Accessed 18 May. 2021.

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More Definitions for racial



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

Comments on racial

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