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[jen-uh-sahyd] /ˈdʒɛn əˌsaɪd/
the deliberate and systematic extermination of a national, racial, political, or cultural group.
Origin of genocide
1940-45; < Greek géno(s) race + -cide
Related forms
genocidal, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for genocide
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • Nuclear nightmares intermingled with Armenian and Jewish flashbacks of genocide.

    After the Rain Sam Vaknin
  • He didn't want to be accused of genocide, since the Lani were so human in appearance.

    The Lani People J. F. Bone
  • In a chance encounter with angry Serb mobs in the streets of Pristina he accused the Albanians of genocide.

    After the Rain Sam Vaknin
  • genocide is defined as the extermination of a race of sapient beings.

    Little Fuzzy Henry Beam Piper
  • The mystery of our failure at genocide forced an unpleasant decision on Benson.

    The Test Colony Winston Marks
British Dictionary definitions for genocide


the policy of deliberately killing a nationality or ethnic group
Derived Forms
genocidal, adjective
Word Origin
C20: from geno-, from Greek genos race + -cide
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 genocide

1944, apparently coined by Polish-born U.S. jurist Raphael Lemkin (1900-1959) in his work "Axis Rule in Occupied Europe" [p.19], in reference to Nazi extermination of Jews, literally "killing a tribe," from Greek genos "race, kind" (see genus) + -cide. The proper formation would be *genticide.

Generally speaking, genocide does not necessarily mean the immediate destruction of a nation, except when accomplished by mass killings of all members of a nation. It is intended rather to signify a coordinated plan of different actions aimed at the destruction of essential foundations of the life of national groups, with the aim of annihilating the groups themselves. [Lemkin]
Earlier in a similar sense was populicide (1799), from French populicide, by 1792, a word from the Revolution. This was taken into German, e.g. Völkermeuchelnden "genocidal" (Heine), which was Englished 1893 as folk-murdering.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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genocide in Culture
genocide [(jen-uh-seyed)]

The deliberate destruction of an entire race or nation. The Holocaust conducted by the Nazis in Germany and the Rwandan genocide are examples of attempts at genocide.

The American Heritage® 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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