Bantu(redirected from Bantu people)
Also found in: Thesaurus, Encyclopedia.
n. pl. Bantu or Ban·tus
1. A member of any of a large number of linguistically related peoples of central and southern Africa.
2. 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 Proto-Bantu *bantu, people : *ba-, pl. human pref. + *-ntu, entity.]
Bantu(ˈbɑːntʊ; ˈbæntuː; bænˈtuː)
npl -tu or -tus
1. (Languages) a group of languages of Africa, including most of the principal languages spoken from the equator to the Cape of Good Hope, but excluding the Khoisan family: now generally regarded as part of the Benue-Congo branch of the Niger-Congo family
2. (Peoples) taboo South African a Black speaker of a Bantu language
3. (Languages) denoting, relating to, or belonging to this group of peoples or to any of their languages
4. (Peoples) denoting, relating to, or belonging to this group of peoples or to any of their languages
[C19: from Bantu Ba-ntu people]
Usage: Use of the term Bantu is only acceptable outside South Africa and when talking about this group of languages and their speakers. To refer to African people or peoples, the terms Black and African are acceptable within South Africa
n., pl. -tus, (esp. collectively) -tu.
1. a family of more than 200 languages, a branch of the Benue-Congo family, whose speakers make up most of the population of central and S Africa.
2. (used with a pl. v.) the group of African peoples who speak Bantu languages.
3. a member of a Bantu-speaking people.
4. of, pertaining to, or characteristic of Bantu or the Bantu peoples.
Switch to new thesaurus
|Noun||1.||Bantu - a member of any of a large number of linguistically related peoples of Central and South Africa|
African - a native or inhabitant of Africa
Herero - a member of a pastoral Bantu people living in Namibia, Botswana, and Angola
Hutu - a member of a Bantu people living in Rwanda and Burundi
Sotho - a member of the Bantu people who inhabit Botswana, Lesotho, and northern South Africa and who speak the Sotho languages
Batswana, Bechuana, Tswana - a member of a Bantu people living chiefly in Botswana and western South Africa
Shona - a member of a Bantu tribe living in present-day Zimbabwe
|2.||Bantu - a family of languages widely spoken in the southern half of the African continent|
Niger-Congo - a family of African language spoken in west Africa
Chichewa - the Bantu language of the Chewa of east central Africa
ChiMwini - a Bantu language spoken in southern Somalia
Chishona - a Bantu language that is one of the two major languages of Zimbabwe
Fang - a Bantu language spoken in Cameroon
Gikuyu - a Bantu language spoken in western Kenya
Giriama - a Bantu language spoken in the coastal regions of eastern Kenya
Herero - a Banto language spoken by the Herero in Namibia, Botswana, and Angola
Kamba - a Bantu language spoken by the Kamba in Kenya
Kinyarwanda - a Bantu language
Kiswahili - a Bantu language
Kongo - the Bantu language spoken by the Kongo living in the tropical forests of Zaire and Congo and Angola
LuGanda - the Bantu language of the Buganda people; spoken in Uganda
Luyia - a Bantu language
Mashi - a Bantu language
Mwera - a Bantu language spoken in southern coastal Tanzania
Nguni - a group of southern Bantu languages
Nyamwezi - a Bantu language spoken in central Tanzania
Pokomo - a Bantu language spoken in the Kenyan coastal areas of East Africa
Shona - a Bantu language spoken in Zimbabwe
Sotho - any of the mutually intelligible southern Bantu languages of the Sotho in Botswana and South Africa and Lesotho
Umbundu - a Bantu language spoken in Angola
Swahili - the most widely spoken Bantu languages; the official language of Kenya and Tanzania and widely used as a lingua franca in east and central Africa
Tonga - the language of the Tongan people of south central Africa (Zambia and Rhodesia)
|Adj.||1.||Bantu - of or relating to the African people who speak one of the Bantoid languages or to their culture; "the Bantu population of Sierra Leone"|