A genre is a specific type of music, film, or writing. Your favorite literary genre might be science fiction, and your favorite film genre might be horror flicks about cheerleaders. Go figure.

In music, genre refers to musical style such as jazz, salsa or rock. In film or literature, the genre is determined by the subject, setting or plot of the story. When you are wandering around a book store, books are usually arranged by genre. Many genres, such as "mystery" or "fantasy," overlap in film and literature, while others, such as "romantic comedy" in film or "historical fiction" in books, are specific to one or the other.

Definitions of genre

n a kind of literary or artistic work

Type of:
form, kind, sort, variety
a category of things distinguished by some common characteristic or quality

n a class of art (or artistic endeavor) having a characteristic form or technique

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abstract art, abstractionism
an abstract genre of art; artistic content depends on internal form rather than pictorial representation
a style in art reflecting Chinese influence; elaborately decorated and intricately patterned
folk art
genre of art of unknown origin that reflects traditional values of a society
genre painting
a genre depicting everyday life
landscape, landscape painting
a genre of art dealing with the depiction of natural scenery
magic realism
a literary or artistic genre in which realistic narrative or meticulously realistic painting are combined with surreal elements of fantasy or dreams
genre of art and literature that makes a self-conscious break with previous genres
naive art, outsider art, primitive art, self-taught art, vernacular art
a genre of art and outdoor constructions made by untrained artists who do not recognize themselves as artists
a genre of painting characterized by the application of paint in dots and small strokes; developed by Georges Seurat and his followers in late 19th century France
genre of art and literature and especially architecture in reaction against principles and practices of established modernism
a genre characteristic of (or imitative of) primitive artists or children
a genre of French painting characterized by bright flat shapes and symbolic treatments of abstract ideas
op art
a style of abstractionism popular in the 1960s; produces dramatic visual effects with colors and contrasts that are difficult for the eye to resolve
Type of:
art, fine art
the products of human creativity; works of art collectively

n an expressive style of music

music genre, musical genre, musical style
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(Judaism) a chant of praise (Psalms 113 through 118) used at Passover and Shabuoth and Sukkoth and Hanukkah and Rosh Hodesh
Hare Krishna
a chant to the Hindu god Krishna
Dies Irae
the first words of a medieval Latin hymn describing the Last Judgment (literally `day of wrath')
a revolutionary socialist anthem
Te Deum
an ancient liturgical hymn
an oratorio composed by Handel in 1742
(Luke) the canticle of the Virgin Mary (from Luke 1:46 beginning `Magnificat anima mea Dominum')
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African-American music, black music
music created by African-American musicians; early forms were songs that had a melodic line and a strong rhythmic beat with repeated choruses
classical, classical music, serious music
traditional genre of music conforming to an established form and appealing to critical interest and developed musical taste
church music, religious music
genre of music composed for performance as part of religious ceremonies
march, marching music
genre of music written for marching
popular music, popular music genre
any genre of music having wide appeal (but usually only for a short time)
chamber music
serious music performed by a small group of musicians
a drama set to music; consists of singing with orchestral accompaniment and an orchestral overture and interludes
antiphon, antiphony
a verse or song to be chanted or sung in response
a musical setting for a Mass
processional, prosodion
religious music used in a procession
antiphonal, antiphonary
bound collection of antiphons
religious song
religious music for singing
cantata, oratorio
a musical composition for voices and orchestra based on a religious text
a composition for orchestra and a soloist
a musical form consisting of a theme repeated a fifth above or a fourth below its first statement
rondeau, rondo
a musical form that is often the last movement of a sonata
a musical composition of 3 or 4 movements of contrasting forms
a type of folksong that originated among Black Americans at the beginning of the 20th century; has a melancholy sound from repeated use of blue notes
martial music, military march, military music
brisk marching music suitable for troops marching in a military parade
processional march, recessional march
a march to be played for processions
disco, disco music
popular dance music (especially in the late 1970s); melodic with a regular bass beat; intended mainly for dancing at discotheques
popular dance music of Brazil; derived from the practices of the macumba religious cult
pop, pop music
music of general appeal to teenagers; a bland watered-down version of rock'n'roll with more rhythm and harmony and an emphasis on romantic love
ethnic music, folk, folk music
the traditional and typically anonymous music that is an expression of the life of people in a community
ballroom music, dance music, danceroom music
a genre of popular music composed for ballroom dancing
a secular form of gospel that was a major Black musical genre in the 1960s and 1970s
a genre of popular music that originated in New Orleans around 1900 and developed through increasingly complex styles
hip-hop, rap, rap music
genre of African-American music of the 1980s and 1990s in which rhyming lyrics are chanted to a musical accompaniment; several forms of rap have emerged
R and B, rhythm and blues
a combination of blues and jazz that was developed in the United States by Black musicians; an important precursor of rock 'n' roll
a fusion of black music and country music that was popular in the 1950s; sometimes described as blues with a country beat
rock, rock 'n' roll, rock and roll, rock music, rock'n'roll, rock-and-roll
a genre of popular music originating in the 1950s; a blend of black rhythm-and-blues with white country-and-western
popular music originating in the West Indies; repetitive bass riffs and regular chords played on the off beat by a guitar
a style of popular music in the 1950s; based on American folk music and played on guitars and improvised percussion instruments
Type of:
an artistic form of auditory communication incorporating instrumental or vocal tones in a structured and continuous manner
expressive style, style
a way of expressing something (in language or art or music etc.) that is characteristic of a particular person or group of people or period

n a style of expressing yourself in writing

literary genre, writing style
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the literary genre of works intended for the theater
ordinary writing as distinguished from verse
an arrangement of the elements in a composition or discourse
poesy, poetry, verse
literature in metrical form
an elegant style of prose of the Elizabethan period; characterized by balance and antithesis and alliteration and extended similes with and allusions to nature and mythology
nonfiction, nonfictional prose
prose writing that is not fictional
interior monologue
a literary genre that presents a fictional character's sequence of thoughts in the form of a monologue
stream of consciousness
a literary genre that reveals a character's thoughts and feeling as they develop by means of a long soliloquy
prose poem
prose that resembles poetry
polyphonic prose
a rhythmical prose employing the poetic devices of alliteration and assonance
a body of poetry that conveys the traditions of a society by treating some epic theme
closet drama
drama more suitable for reading that for performing
light and humorous drama with a happy ending
drama in which the protagonist is overcome by some superior force or circumstance; excites terror or pity
epic poetry, heroic poetry
poetry celebrating the deeds of some hero
the form or metrical composition of a poem
Type of:
expressive style, style
a way of expressing something (in language or art or music etc.) that is characteristic of a particular person or group of people or period

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