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[zhahn-ruh; French zhahn-ruh] /ˈʒɑn rə; French ˈʒɑ̃ rə/
noun, plural genres
[zhahn-ruh z; French zhahn-ruh] /ˈʒɑn rəz; French ˈʒɑ̃ rə/ (Show IPA)
a class or category of artistic endeavor having a particular form, content, technique, or the like:
the genre of epic poetry; the genre of symphonic music.
Fine Arts.
  1. paintings in which scenes of everyday life form the subject matter.
  2. a realistic style of painting using such subject matter.
genus; kind; sort; style.
Fine Arts. of or relating to genre.
of or relating to a distinctive literary type.
Origin of genre
1760-70; < French: kind, sort; see gender1 Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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British Dictionary definitions for genre


  1. kind, category, or sort, esp of literary or artistic work
  2. (as modifier): genre fiction
a category of painting in which domestic scenes or incidents from everyday life are depicted
Word Origin
C19: from French, from Old French gendre; see gender
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for genre

1770, as a French word in English (nativized from c.1840), from French genre "kind, sort, style" (see gender). Used especially in French for "independent style." Of painting, "depicting scenes of ordinary life" (as compared to "landscape," "historical," etc.) from 1849.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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genre in Culture
genre [(zhahn-ruh)]

The kind or type of a work of art, from the French, meaning “kind” or “genus.” Literary genres include the novel and the sonnet. Musical genres include the concerto and the symphony. Film genres include Westerns and horror movies.

The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
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