ghetto

Meanings

Noun

  • An (often walled) area of a city in which Jews are concentrated by force and law.
  • An (often impoverished) area of a city inhabited predominantly by members of a specific nationality, ethnicity or race.
  • An area in which people who are distinguished by sharing something other than ethnicity concentrate or are concentrated.
  • An isolated, self-contained, segregated subsection, area or field of interest; often of minority or specialist interest.

Adjective

  • Of or relating to a ghetto or to ghettos in general.
  • Unseemly and indecorous or of low quality; cheap; shabby, crude.
  • Characteristic of the style, speech, or behavior of residents of a predominantly black or other ghetto in the United States.
  • Having been raised in a ghetto in the United States.

Verb

  • To confine (a specified group of people) to a ghetto.

Related

Similar words

Origin

  • Borrowed from Italian ghetto, either from Venetian gh├Ęto ("foundry"), or alternatively an apheresis of the Italian borghetto, diminutive of borgo. Initially used of the areas Jews were concentrated, later extended to concentrations of other ethnicities and then non-ethnic groups. The adjective and verb derive from the noun.

Modern English dictionary

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