[zhahn-ruh; French zhahn-ruh]
See more synonyms for genre on
noun, plural gen·res [zhahn-ruh z; French zhahn-ruh] /ˈʒɑn rəz; French ˈʒɑ̃ rə/.
  1. 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.
  2. Fine Arts.
    1. paintings in which scenes of everyday life form the subject matter.
    2. a realistic style of painting using such subject matter.
  3. genus; kind; sort; style.
  1. Fine Arts. of or relating to genre.
  2. of or relating to a distinctive literary type.

Origin of genre

1760–70; < French: kind, sort; see gender1 Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for genre

Contemporary Examples of genre

Historical Examples of genre

British Dictionary definitions for genre


    1. kind, category, or sort, esp of literary or artistic work
    2. (as modifier)genre fiction
  1. a category of painting in which domestic scenes or incidents from everyday life are depicted

Word Origin for genre

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

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

genre in Culture



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 Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.