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

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

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

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

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • adj. Of or pertaining to the Bantu language group Bantu (definition 2).
  • adj. of or pertaining to the Bantu people (definition 1).
  • proper n. 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 n. the family of languages spoken by the Bantu people (definition 1).

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

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

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

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


From Proto-Bantu *bantu, people : *ba-, pl. human pref. + *-ntu, entity.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
Xhosa bantu ("people"). (Wiktionary)



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