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

Example Sentences

What is your racial identity? There was racial tension on campus.
Recent Examples on the Web The racial gap has also defied years of attempts by the agency to close it. Andy Newman, New York Times, 22 Nov. 2022 According to a new lawsuit, a rent-setting website that purported to helping apartment seekers is contributing to this racial housing gap. Jasmine Browley, Essence, 18 Nov. 2022 Financial assistance is often necessary because of the city’s racial wealth gap and housing rehab costs. Mike Gousha And John Johnson, Journal Sentinel, 10 Nov. 2022 On his to-do list are lofty ambitions like ending child poverty and closing the racial wealth gap. Quartz, 9 Nov. 2022 Mass incarceration has contributed significantly to the racial achievement gap, poorer health outcomes in Black communities, and economic hardship for Black families. Time, 3 Nov. 2022 Metropolitan areas with the largest home price inflation are seeing the racial gap in home appraisals grow even faster. Nicquel Terry Ellis, CNN, 3 Nov. 2022 But Metro Councilman Jecorey Arthur, D-4th District and a Russell resident, says the larger issue is closing the racial wealth gap by using federal dollars to help Black residents buy homes and open businesses. Ana Rocío Álvarez Bríñez, The Courier-Journal, 31 Oct. 2022 White students’ fourth grade reading scores dropped four points since 2019 (220 from 224), but black fourth graders dropped 11 points (188 from 199), widening the racial gap to 32 points from 25 in 2019. The Editorial Board, WSJ, 30 Oct. 2022 See More

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.

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 4 Dec. 2022.

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

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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