Miscegenation (/mɪˌsɛdʒəˈneɪʃən/) is the interbreeding of people who are considered to be members of different races

[1] The word, usually considered pejorative, is derived from a combination of the Latin terms miscere (“to mix”) and genus (“race”) from the Hellenic γένος

.[2] The word first appeared in “Miscegenation: The Theory of the Blending of the Races, Applied to the American White Man and Negro,” a pretended anti-Abolitionist pamphlet David Goodman Croly and others published anonymously in advance of the 1864 U.S. presidential election.[2][3] The term came to be associated with laws that banned interracial marriage and sex, which were known as anti-miscegenation laws.[4]

Opposition to miscegenation, framed as preserving so-called racial purity, is a typical theme of racial supremacist movements.[5] Although the notion that racial mixing is undesirable has arisen at different points in history, it gained particular prominence among white communities in America during the colonial period.[5]

Although the term “miscegenation” was formed from the Latin miscere “to mix” plus genus “race” or “kind”, and it could therefore be perceived as being value-neutral, it is almost always a pejorative term which is used by people who believe in racial superiority and purity.[6] Less loaded terms for multiethnic relationships, such as interracial or interethnic marriages and mixed-race or multiethnic children, are more common in contemporary usage.