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Skulls of the victims of the 1975–1979 Cambodian genocide perpetrated by the Khmer Rouge at the Choeung Ek memorial.



From the Latin gēns (a race, nation, people; a clan, family, oblique stem: gent-) +‎ -cide (a killing of). The combination represents a hypothetical Latin etymon of the form *genticīdium, regularly formed from gēns +‎ -cīdium. Compare genericide and genocide.





genticide (plural genticides) (rare)

  1. The killing of a race or nation of people; the slaughter of an ethnic group; a genocide.
    • 1837, “a friend of peace” [pseudonym; William Ladd], Dissertation on the Subject of a Congress of Nations, for the Adjustment of International Disputes without Recourse to Arms, New York, N.Y.: Ezra Collier, 146 Nassau Street, →OCLC, page 46:
      When we call unjust war murder, we give it too mild a name. It is wholesale murder; it is what might be denominated genticide, or the murder of nations.
    • 1940 August–September, Ching-Hsiung Wu, editor, T’ien Hsia Monthly, volume XI, Shanghai: Kelly & Walsh; published under the auspices of the Sun Yat-sen Institute for the Advancement of Culture and Education, →OCLC, page 50:
      This cadaverous insistence upon our extinction is curdling my blood. Homicide! More than that — Genticide!
  2. The killing of a kinsman or kinswoman; the murder of a blood relative.
    Synonym: parricide
    Hyponyms: fratricide, sororicide, patricide, matricide, infanticide, filicide, prolicide, familicide
    • 1916, Ernest W[atson] Burgess, “The Kinship Stage of Socialization”, in The Function of Socialization in Social Evolution, Chicago, Ill.: University of Chicago Press, →OCLC, page 82:
      Thus the hatred of the kin group was the highest penalty for genticide or the murder of a clansman: []
    • 1959, A. Bronson Feldman, The Unconscious in History, New York, N.Y.: Philosophical Library, →OCLC, pages 170 and 253:
      [page 170] The term I shall employ is genticide, from the Latin gens meaning blood-relation or kin. [] [page 253] The metamorphosis of actual incest and genticide into astral saga was probably promoted by the savage belief that changes in weather and the aspects of the skies were somehow responses to their outrages of lust.

Usage notes

  • This term occurs most frequently as a construction to be preferred to genocide on etymological grounds.