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Used as a form of respectful address in parts of Africa.
[Swahili, from Arabic 'abūnā, our father : 'abū, bound form of 'ab, father; see ʔb in Semitic roots + -nā, our.]
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.
(in E Africa) a master, often used as a respectful form of address corresponding to sir
[Swahili, from Arabic abūna our father]
Collins English Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged, 12th Edition 2014 © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1994, 1998, 2000, 2003, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2011, 2014
n., pl. -nas.
(in Africa) master; boss.
[1875–80; < Swahili < Arabic abūnā our father]
Random House Kernerman Webster's College Dictionary, © 2010 K Dictionaries Ltd. Copyright 2005, 1997, 1991 by Random House, Inc. All rights reserved.