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n. pl. Swahili or Swa·hi·lis
1. A Bantu language of the coast and islands of eastern Africa from Somalia to Mozambique. It is an official language of Tanzania and is widely used as a lingua franca in eastern and east-central Africa. Also called Kiswahili.
2. An inhabitant of coastal eastern Africa for whom Swahili is the mother tongue.

[Swahili, from Arabic sawāḥilī, of the coasts, from sawāḥil, pl. of sāḥil, coast, active participle of saḥala, to scrape off, smooth; see šḥl in Semitic roots.]

Swa·hi′li·an adj.
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.


npl -lis or -li
1. (Languages) Also called: Kiswahili a language of E Africa that is an official language of Kenya and Tanzania and is widely used as a lingua franca throughout E and central Africa. It is a member of the Bantu group of the Niger-Congo family, originally spoken in Zanzibar, and has a large number of loan words taken from Arabic and other languages
2. (Peoples) Also called: Mswahili or Waswahili a member of a people speaking this language, living chiefly in Zanzibar
3. (Languages) of or relating to the Swahilis or their language
4. (Peoples) of or relating to the Swahilis or their language
[C19: from Arabic sawāhil coasts]
Swaˈhilian adj
Collins English Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged, 12th Edition 2014 © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1994, 1998, 2000, 2003, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2011, 2014


(swɑˈhi li)

a Bantu language, serving as a lingua franca in E and E central Africa, and the native tongue of a number of ethnic groups living along the coast of E Africa and offshore islands.
Random House Kernerman Webster's College Dictionary, © 2010 K Dictionaries Ltd. Copyright 2005, 1997, 1991 by Random House, Inc. All rights reserved.
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Noun1.Swahili - the most widely spoken Bantu languagesSwahili - 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
kanzu - (Swahili) a long garment (usually white) with long sleeves; worn by men in East Africa
Niger-Kordofanian, Niger-Kordofanian language - the family of languages that includes most of the languages spoken in Africa south of the Sahara; the majority of them are tonal languages but there are important exceptions (e.g., Swahili or Fula)
Bantoid language, Bantu - a family of languages widely spoken in the southern half of the African continent
Based on WordNet 3.0, Farlex clipart collection. © 2003-2012 Princeton University, Farlex Inc.


[swɑːˈhiːlɪ] Nswahili m, suajili m
Collins Spanish Dictionary - Complete and Unabridged 8th Edition 2005 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1971, 1988 © HarperCollins Publishers 1992, 1993, 1996, 1997, 2000, 2003, 2005


n (= African language)Suaheli nt
Collins German Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged 7th Edition 2005. © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1980 © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1997, 1999, 2004, 2005, 2007
References in periodicals archive ?
The Waswahili often say, "Ya dunia ni mengi (many are the affairs of this world)." Those who are spiritually inclined put a divine twist to it by saying, "Ya Mungu ni mengi," implying a humble trust in the ways of the Almighty.
We, however, grew up referring to Majengo residents more as Waswahili (Coast people) than Waisilamu (Muslims).
This is translated as "A fat (overweight) woman is beautiful." "Physical activity is good but not common in the Swahili community; we use vehicles to travel even very short distances" (Kwa waswahili hakuna mazoezi mtu akitaka kwenda pahali, kidogo mpaka tuktuk ama matatu).
Kukopa ni harusi, kulipa matanga, say the waSwahili. Very loosely translated: the party's over.
Also, the Swahili of East Africa gave so much value to individual's name in a way that they believe that a name is an essential part of a person's spiritual being, a Waswahili's proverb says: 'Wewe na jina lako' (You and Your name; you are what your name has made you).
However, the source from which the novel draws most extensively for its caravan sections, including its routes and encounters, is "Safari Yangu ya Bara Afrika" ("My Journey Up-Country in Africa") by Selemani bin Mwenye Chande, recorded between 1893 and 1896, while the source from which Gurnah is perhaps able to gather most information about the complexities and nuances of the region's practices of slavery is Mtoro bin Mwinyi Bakari's Desturi za Waswahili (The Customs of the Swahili People) (1981).
International tourism in Kenya and the marginalization of the Waswahili. Tourism Management, 17(6), 425-432.
The Customs of the Swahili People: the Desturi za Waswahili of Mtoro bin Minyi Bakari and other Swahili persons, edited and translated into English by J.
Mheshimiwa rais, waswahili wanasema ahadi ni deny na dawa ya deny ni kulipa (Mr President, the Swahili say a promise is a debt and the cure for a debt is to pay)," he started before reminding him that he had promised to complete the Kakamega-Webuye Road and donate some facilities, including more beds and a CT scan to the county referral hospital.
The Waswahili are a community of communities, a predominantly but not exclusively Islamic entity sharing a common language and interactive cultural orientation.
(trans./ed.) (1981) The Customs of the Swahili People: the Desturi za Waswahili of Mtoro bin Mwinyi Bakari and other Swahili persons.