See more synonyms for ethnicity on
noun, plural eth·nic·i·ties.
  1. an ethnic group; a social group that shares a common and distinctive culture, religion, language, or the like: Representatives of several ethnicities were present.
  2. ethnic traits, background, allegiance, or association: The graph shows class enrollment by gender and ethnicity.

Origin of ethnicity

1765–75, for earlier sense; ethnic + -ity Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words for ethnicity

nationality, race, identity, origin, background

Examples from the Web for ethnicity

Contemporary Examples of ethnicity

Word Origin and History for ethnicity

"ethnic character," 1953, from ethnic + -ity. Earlier it meant "paganism" (1772).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

ethnicity in Culture



Identity with or membership in a particular racial, national, or cultural group and observance of that group's customs, beliefs, and language.


Many minority groups in the United States maintain strong ethnic identity; especially in cities, immigrants are often attracted to ethnic communities established by people from their own country, communities in which many traditional cultural features are maintained. (See melting pot.)
The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.