Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • noun A usually poor section of a city inhabited primarily by people of the same race, religion, or social background, often because of discrimination.
  • noun An often walled quarter in a European city to which Jews were restricted beginning in the Middle Ages.
  • noun Something that resembles the restriction or isolation of a city ghetto.
  • adjective In a manner typical or stereotypical of an impoverished urban area, as in being makeshift, garish, or crass.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun The quarter in certain Italian towns in which Jews were formerly compelled to live exclusively.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • noun A quarter of a city where Jews live in greatest numbers.
  • noun Any section of a town inhabited predominantly by members of a specific ethnic, national or racial group, such segregation usually arising from social or economic pressure. The term is commonly applied to areas in cities having a high concentration of low-income African-Americans.
  • noun Any isolated group of people.
  • noun Any group isolated by external pressures, with an implication of inferiority.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • noun An (often walled) area of a city in which Jews are concentrated by force and law. (Used particularly of areas in medieval Italy and in Nazi-controlled Europe.)
  • noun An (often impoverished) area of a city inhabited predominantly by members of a specific nationality, ethnicity, or race.
  • noun An area in which people who are distinguished by sharing something other than ethnicity concentrate or are concentrated.
  • adjective Of or relating to a ghetto or to ghettos in general.
  • adjective slang, informal Of low quality; cheap; shabby, crude.
  • adjective US, informal Characteristic of the style, speech, or behavior of residents of a predominantly black or other ghetto in the United States.
  • adjective Having been raised in a ghetto in the United States.
  • verb To confine (a specified group of people) to a ghetto.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • noun formerly the restricted quarter of many European cities in which Jews were required to live
  • noun a poor densely populated city district occupied by a minority ethnic group linked together by economic hardship and social restrictions
  • noun any segregated mode of living or working that results from bias or stereotyping

Etymologies

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

[Italian, after Ghetto, island near Venice where Jews were made to live in the 16th century.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

Borrowing from Italian ghetto, from Venetian, ghèto ("foundry"). Alternatively an apocope of the Italian borghetto, diminutive of borgo ("village"). Initially used of the areas Jews were concentrated, later extended to concentrations of other ethnicities and then non-ethic groups. The adjective and verb derive from the noun.

Examples

  • Then Napoleon turned north again and marched toward Venice, where the word ghetto was first used, and allowed its Jews out.

    Emancipation

  • I use the term ghetto to draw a comparison between the treatment of animated films and the treatment of African Americans in America.

    Editorial: Let WALL*E Compete With Live Action Films! | Obsessed With Film

  • A lot of the criticism I've read uses the term ghetto - sometimes more specifically "pink ghetto" - to describe the site.

    ESPN's Big New Site For Women, EspnW.com Finally Launching Today - Yahoo! Finance

  • Do you think that the skill set for teaching English to minority kids in the ghetto is the same as it is for teaching the same subject in a rich suburb?

    Matthew Yglesias » Endgame

  • The fastest growing industry in the ghetto is the oldest profession on Earth.

    Letter Two

  • The fastest growing industry in the ghetto is the oldest profession on Earth:::::: The gods tell these Oakland pimps chilldhood prostitution is OK - Learn from the lies they tell other groups!!!

    Only The English are British

  • The fastest growing industry in the ghetto is the oldest profession on Earth:::::: The gods tell these Oakland pimps chilldhood prostitution is OK - Learn from the lies they tell other groups!!!

    Your Right Hand Thief

  • The fastest growing industry in the ghetto is the oldest profession on Earth.

    Saturday morning rant (story v language)

  • The fastest growing industry in the ghetto is the oldest profession on Earth:::::: The gods tell these Oakland pimps chilldhood prostitution is OK - Learn from the lies they tell other groups!!!

    Your Right Hand Thief

  • That the ghetto is about twelve times larger than the city, and a great deal livelier, so what?

    On Fantasy and Science Fiction

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