Definitions

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

  • noun A member of any of a large number of linguistically related peoples of central and southern Africa.
  • noun A group of over 400 closely related languages spoken in central, east-central, and southern Africa, belonging to the eastern branch of the Benue-Congo group of the Niger-Congo language family and including Swahili, Kinyarwanda, Kirundi, Zulu, and Xhosa.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun A name sometimes applied to the South African family of tongues.

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

  • adjective Of or pertaining to the Bantu language group Bantu (definition 2).
  • adjective of or pertaining to the Bantu people (definition 1).
  • proper noun A member of one of the great family of Negroid tribes occupying equatorial and southern Africa. These tribes include, as important divisions, the Kafirs, Damaras, Bechuanas, and many tribes whose names begin with Aba-, Ama-, Ba-, Ma-, Wa-, variants of the Bantu plural personal prefix Aba-, as in Ba-ntu, or Aba-ntu, itself a combination of this prefix with the syllable -ntu, a person; or as in Watusi.
  • proper noun the family of languages spoken by the Bantu people (definition 1).

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

  • proper noun The largest African language family of the Niger-Congo group, spoken in much of Sub-Saharan Africa.
  • proper noun General term for African ethnic groups speaking a Bantu language and their members.
  • proper noun South Africa, dated A black South African.

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

  • noun a member of any of a large number of linguistically related peoples of Central and South Africa
  • noun a family of languages widely spoken in the southern half of the African continent
  • adjective of or relating to the African people who speak one of the Bantoid languages or to their culture

Etymologies

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

From Proto-Bantu *bantu, people : *ba-, pl. human pref. + *-ntu, entity.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

Xhosa bantu ("people").

Examples

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