© 2014 Shmoop University, Inc. All rights reserved.

Literature Glossary

Don’t be an oxymoron. Know your literary terms.

Over 200 literary terms, Shmooped to perfection.

Genre

Definition:

Genre. Say it out loud. Sounds fancy, right? Well, it's not. It really just means "kind" in French. And that's exactly what genre is: a kind. In our case, a kind of literature.

What's in a genre, you ask? Just a pile of conventions. Different combinations of conventions—ranging from style, tone, character development, setting, and beyond—make for some crazy genres. Some of them even have funny names:

  • Ergodic literature
  • Space opera
  • Luciferian literature
  • Splatterpunk
  • Techno-thriller

And then there are the ones that are more likely to show up on your summer reading list:

Today, we might even be able to call teen paranormal romance a genre. We're not making this stuff up.

Tags: General, Genre