noun, plural ghettos, ghettoes.
a section of a city, especially a thickly populated slum area, inhabited predominantly by members of an ethnic or other minority group, often as a result of social or economic restrictions, pressures, or hardships.
(formerly, in most European countries) a section of a city in which all Jews were required to live.
a section predominantly inhabited by Jews.
any mode of living, working, etc., that results from stereotyping or biased treatment: job ghettos for women; ghettos for the elderly.
pertaining to or characteristic of life in a ghetto or the people who live there: ghetto culture.
Slang: Often Disparaging and Offensive. noting something that is considered to be unrefined, low-class, cheap, or inferior: Her furniture is so ghetto!

1605–15; < Italian, orig. the name of an island near Venice where Jews were forced to reside in the 16th century < Venetian, literally, foundry for artillery (giving the island its name), noun derivative of ghettare to throw < Vulgar Latin *jectāre; see jet1 Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
ghetto (ˈɡɛtəʊ)
n , pl -tos, -toes
1.  sociol a densely populated slum area of a city inhabited by a socially and economically deprived minority
2.  an area in a European city in which Jews were formerly required to live
3.  a group or class of people that is segregated in some way
[C17: from Italian, perhaps shortened from borghetto, diminutive of borgo settlement outside a walled city; or from the Venetian ghetto the medieval iron-founding district, largely inhabited by Jews]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
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Word Origin & History

1611, from It. ghetto "part of a city to which Jews are restricted," various theories of its origin include: Yiddish get "deed of separation;" special use of Venetian getto "foundry" (there was one near the site of that city's ghetto in 1516); Egitto "Egypt," from L. Aegyptus (presumably in memory of
the exile); or It. borghetto "small section of a town" (dim. of borgo, of Gmc. origin, see borough). Extended 1892 to crowded urban quarters of other minority groups. Ghetto-blaster "large portable stereo" is from 1982.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Example sentences
Still, escaping the foreign-student ghetto isn't easy.
Even as cities tout their ghettos, though, the ghettos are emptying.
Bulldozing the ghetto does not get rid of the ghetto.
He deals with reality in the ghetto.
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