ethnic cleansing Word Originnoun
- the elimination of an unwanted ethnic group or groups from a society, as by genocide or forced emigration.
- euphemistic the violent removal by one ethnic group of other ethnic groups from the population of a particular area: used esp of the activities of Serbs against Croats and Muslims in the former Yugoslavia
ethnic cleansing in Culture ethnic cleansing
A euphemism to describe the forceful removal or genocide of minority ethnic groups (see ethnicity) during the breakup of Yugoslavia. It was used mainly to describe the Serbs’ attacks on Muslims in Bosnia and Albanians in Kosovo. (See Slobodan Milosevic and Kosovo War.)