If xenocide is the word for species homicide, what would be the analogous term for doing this to one's own species? I was reading an essay on anti-natalism and thought there must be an obvious construction along the lines of suicide, homicide, fratricide, patricide, xenocide, etc. Googling has turned up nothing.

  • They would all have to kill themselves voluntarily. Otherwise it would be homicide. Does it ever occur ?
    – Nigel J
    Oct 21, 2017 at 14:08
  • @NigelJ: Obviously smallpox viruses didn't deliberately kill themselves, but I'd hardly say we committed "homicide" by wiping out the species. Oct 21, 2017 at 14:11
  • @FumbleFingers My fault. I meant xenocide.
    – Nigel J
    Oct 21, 2017 at 14:13
  • Actually, I have never heard of any animal committing suicide, that I remember. They seem to have a very strong survival instinct, to me. Is it only humans that do this ?
    – Nigel J
    Oct 21, 2017 at 14:26
  • If everyone committed suicide after having two kids, that wouldn't really accomplish anything, would it? This probably needs to operate on the concept of a species reproductive success and fitness, not individual mortality.
    – Phil Sweet
    Oct 21, 2017 at 14:32

1 Answer 1


The prefix 'auto-' means 'self-caused', and the word you want is 'autogenocide'.


Autogenocide is "the mass killing by a government or regime of a section of its own people".

Coined in the late 1970s.

  • You need to add references showing that this is an actual word rather than a DIY suggestion, and accepted definitions. While it might work, even such an arcane word has multiple senses. Oct 21, 2017 at 22:33

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.