ethnic


ethnic
   not exclusively of white ancestry
   Literally, 'pertaining to nations not Christian or Jewish' {OED), from which anyone who is not a Christian or a Jew. As the practice of those religions was largely confined to Europe or those of European descent, the word came to refer to those of other than white skin pigmentation:
    The car had been stolen the previous night from outside a block of high-rise apartments in Brixton chosen because of its ethnic inhabitants. (B. Forbes, 1986 — Brixton is an area of London with a majority of non-white people)
   An ethnic minority in America may include Hispanics as well as blacks, native Indians, or other non-white inhabitants. In Britain what was in the 1980s an acceptable euphemism is now less so:
    Senior officers questioned by the enquiry used terms, including 'coloureds' and 'ethnics', that were offensive to black and Asian people. (Sunday Telegraph, 6 June 1999)

How not to say what you mean: A dictionary of euphemisms. . 2014.

Synonyms:
(as distinguished from Jewish and Christian), , /


Look at other dictionaries:

  • ethnic — is now principally used to denote a section of a community having distinct racial, cultural, religious, or linguistic characteristics not shared by the rest of the community. Ethnic is typically used to describe clothing, dance, music, and other… …   Modern English usage

  • ethnic — UK US /ˈeθnɪk/ adjective ► relating to a race or national group of people: »The factory s workforce reflects the ethnic mix of the local population. ► from a different race, or interesting because characteristic of an ethnic group which is very… …   Financial and business terms

  • ethnic — (n.) late 14c., Scottish, heathen, pagan, and having that sense first in English; as an adj. from late 15c. from L. ethnicus, Gk. ethnikos, from ethnos band of people living together, nation, people, prop. “people of one s own kind,” from PIE …   Etymology dictionary

  • Ethnic — Eth nic, Ethnical Eth nic*al, a. [L. ethnicus, Gr. ?, fr. ? nation, ? ? the nations, heathens, gentiles: cf. F. ethnique.] 1. Belonging to races or nations; based on distinctions of race; ethnological. [1913 Webster] 2. Pertaining to the gentiles …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Ethnic — Eth nic . 1. A heathen; a pagan. [Obs.] [1913 Webster] No better reported than impure ethnic and lay dogs. Milton. [1913 Webster] 2. a member of an ethnic group. [PJC] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • ethnic — ► ADJECTIVE 1) relating to a group of people having a common national or cultural tradition. 2) referring to origin by birth rather than by present nationality: ethnic Albanians. 3) relating to a non Western cultural tradition: ethnic music.… …   English terms dictionary

  • ethnic — [eth′nik] adj. [ME ethnik < LL(Ec) ethnicus, pagan < Gr ethnikos, national (in LGr(Ec), gentile, heathen) < ethnos, nation, people, ta ethnē, nations (in LXX, non Jews, in N.T., gentile Christians): akin to ēthos: see ETHICAL] 1. Now… …   English World dictionary

  • ethnic — [adj] racial, cultural indigenous, national, native, traditional, tribal; concept 549 …   New thesaurus

  • ethnic — 01. There is often prejudice against minority [ethnic] groups. 02. The former Yugoslavia is having a lot of problems with conflicts between the different [ethnic] groups in the region. 03. I believe that Chinese speakers are the second largest… …   Grammatical examples in English

  • ethnic — eth|nic1 [ eθnık ] adjective ** 1. ) relating to a group of people who have the same culture and traditions: The country s population consists of three main ethnic groups. a ) used about fighting between people from different ethnic groups living …   Usage of the words and phrases in modern English

  • ethnic — eth|nic1 W3 [ˈeθnık] adj [Date: 1300 1400; : Late Latin; Origin: ethnicus, from Greek ethnikos, from ethnos nation, people ] 1.) relating to a particular race, nation, or tribe and their customs and traditions ▪ The school teaches pupils from… …   Dictionary of contemporary English


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