(redirected from Ndebeles)
Also found in: Thesaurus, Encyclopedia.


n. pl. Ndebele or Nde·be·les
1. A member of a Zulu people of southwest Zimbabwe.
2. The Nguni language of the Ndebele, closely related to Zulu spoken in South Africa. In both senses also called Matabele.

[Ndebele -Ndebele (as in amaNdebele, Ndebele people, and isiNdebele, Ndebele language); perhaps akin to Sotho Matebele, Zulu peoples entering Sotho territories in the 19th century; see Matabele.]


npl Ndebele
1. (Peoples) a member of a Negroid people of Zimbabwe. See also Matabele
2. (Languages) the language of this people, belonging to the Bantu grouping of the Niger-Congo family
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Noun1.Ndebele - a Bantu language sometimes considered a dialect of Zulu
Nguni - a group of southern Bantu languages
References in periodicals archive ?
The ethnic tension theory goes back to failed allegiances during the war, right through to the apparent 'colonialism' of Shona territory when the Ndebeles first came north of the Limpopo in the 19th century.
Eppel (2008) and Sachikonye (2011a) suggest that the withdrawal of many Ndebeles from the 1987 Unity Accord, when Joshua Nkomo died in 1999, was inevitable.
Ndebeles are fanatics of European and world soccer hence acronyms like UEFA and FIFA are very common among the Ndebele and they are used as nouns, as in the example below:
Kagiso was well aware of past attitudes to women: 'The Africans, most of us, specifically the Tswanas, the Sothos and Ndebeles, all those people, they used to believe that the ladies' place is in the kitchen.
Centering primarily in Matabeleland, home of the Ndebeles who were PF-ZAPU's main followers, this dissidence continued through 1987 and involved attacks on government personnel and installations, armed banditry aimed at disrupting security and economic life in the rural areas, and harassment of ZANU-PF members.
The poll findings reveal that regardless of ethnicity, Mugabe's job approval is low: 18% of Shonas and 16% of Ndebeles told Gallup they approved of the job performance of their president, who is a Shona.
Historically, Ndebeles from Zimbabwe are Zulus who migrated during the reign of the illustrious King Shaka in the 19th century, under the leadership of his fallen general, Mzilikazi.
O Zimbabue possui uma populacao estimada em torno de 12 milhoes de pessoas, com duas etnias predominantes, os shonas (71% da populacao), e os ndebeles (16% da populacao).
I see the people of Zimbabwe not as supporters of ZANU-PF or as Shonas or Ndebeles.
The coal miners who came to drink in the backyard often started fights that they never finished because Johanna would intervene and beat the shit out of them--thrashings that sent the powerfully built Mozambicans, Malawians, Ndebeles, and Swazis staggering out of her yard.
Troops from his majority Shona tribe launched a long campaign of terror against the minority Ndebeles in 1982.