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The Complete Vocabulary Builder Workbook



How to pronounce genocide (audio)

Dictionary definition of genocide

The intentional and systematic destruction of a racial, ethnic, religious, or national group.
"The genocide resulted in the deaths of millions of innocent people."

Detailed meaning of genocide

The term was coined in 1944 by Raphael Lemkin, a Polish-Jewish legal scholar, to describe the systematic extermination of the Jews by the Nazis during World War II. However, the crime of genocide can include any group as a victim, including but not limited to ethnic, national, racial or religious groups. The United Nations Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide defines genocide as any of the following acts committed with intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnical, racial or religious group, as such: killing members of the group; causing serious bodily or mental harm to members of the group; deliberately inflicting on the group conditions of life calculated to bring about its physical destruction in whole or in part; imposing measures intended to prevent births within the group; and forcibly transferring children of the group to another group. These acts are considered as one of the worst crimes against humanity and are considered as war crime and punishable under international law.

Example sentences containing genocide

1. The international community condemned the genocide in the war-torn region.
2. Survivors' testimonies shed light on the horrors of the past genocide.
3. Remembering the Holocaust is crucial to prevent future genocides.
4. The genocide memorial serves as a solemn reminder of history's atrocities.
5. Genocide denial perpetuates the suffering of survivors.
6. The Nuremberg Trials sought justice for those responsible for genocide.

History and etymology of genocide

The noun 'genocide' has an etymology that combines Greek and Latin elements. It was coined during the 20th century to describe the horrific and deliberate destruction of entire groups of people. The term 'genocide' is a blend of two words: 'genos,' which is Greek for 'race' or 'group,' and 'cide,' derived from the Latin word 'caedere,' which means 'to kill' or 'to murder.' 'Genocide' was first coined by Polish lawyer Raphael Lemkin in 1944, who sought to create a word that could convey the gravity of the atrocities committed during the Holocaust and other mass killings. Its etymology underscores the intentional and systematic nature of such destruction, emphasizing the targeting of specific racial, ethnic, religious, or national groups for extermination, as signified by both its Greek and Latin roots.

Quiz: Find the meaning of genocide

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Further usage examples of genocide

1. Genocide prevention efforts aim to stop atrocities before they escalate.
2. Educating people about past genocides is vital for awareness.
3. The world must unite to prevent another genocide.
4. He dedicated his life to advocating for genocide survivors.
5. The Rwandan genocide left scars that still affect the nation today.
6. Understanding the root causes of genocide is crucial for prevention.
7. Genocide studies are a vital field of academic research.
8. Communities must come together to heal after a genocide.
9. Genocide awareness campaigns strive to educate the public.
10. Survivors' stories provide a firsthand account of genocide's horrors.
11. Genocide tribunals seek justice for the victims.
12. The international community must intervene to stop ongoing genocides.
13. Genocide remembrance ceremonies honor the lost lives.
14. Governments must acknowledge their role in past genocides.
15. Genocide prevention requires early intervention and diplomacy.
16. Genocide survivors often face lifelong trauma and challenges.
17. The world must never forget the lessons of past genocides.
18. Documenting evidence of genocide is essential for prosecutions.
19. The fight against genocide continues to be a global priority.



extermination, protection, preservation, nurturing


Damage and Destruction, Criminal Justice and Penalties, Crime and Lawlessness

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