Meaning of Carib in English:


Pronunciation /ˈkarɪb/


  • 1A member of an indigenous South American people living mainly in coastal regions of French Guiana, Suriname, Guyana, and Venezuela.

    ‘Amerindian groups include the Caribs, the Arawaks, and the Warraus.’
    • ‘The islands were originally inhabited by the Arawaks, Caribs, and other Amerindians.’
    • ‘In the pre-Columbian period, Arawaks and later Caribs moved to the region from coastal South America.’
    • ‘It provided refuge for indigenous Caribs and later for maroons (escaped slaves), and never developed the large-scale sugar plantations that characterized other colonies.’
    • ‘The Atlantic slave trade indeed began because Spanish colonists needed Africans to do the work the Taino, Caribs, Mayans, and Aztecs refused to do, but slavery was an old idea in the New World, too.’
    • ‘She proposed that, as the Caribs and Arawaks were the indigenous people of Trinidad, the name of the group should be Arawaks, as a counterpart to Little Carib Theatre.’
    • ‘From 1654 until 1659, French and English colonists waged a determined war against the Caribs as Caribs began to resist the now clearly permanent and expansionist imperial presence.’
    • ‘Its heritage includes the unique mingling of Africans and Amerindians that produced the group known as the Black Caribs.’
    • ‘The earliest settlers in the Virgin Islands were the Indian tribes of the Ciboneys, the Arawaks and the Caribs.’
    • ‘In the early seventeenth century, the Black Caribs - a population composed of the descendants of Caribs and African maroons from other islands - emerged on Saint Vincent.’
    • ‘Carib is spoken along the Caribbean coast by the Garifunas, or Black Caribs, the descendants of fugitive slaves and Carib Indians.’
    • ‘Midden heaps reflect much of the day-to-day existence of the Caribs and the Arawaks, but it is the petroglyphs that hint of ceremonial associations.’
    • ‘The Caribs roamed the heavily forested regions of the interior.’
    • ‘But for the arrival of the Spaniards, the Caribs might have exterminated those first Jamaicans.’
    • ‘The island's indigenous Arawak people were expelled or exterminated by Caribs in the 14th century.’
    • ‘Conflict between the British and the black Caribs continued until 1796, when General Abercrombie crushed a revolt fomented by the French radical Victor Hugues.’
    • ‘A more nomadic and warlike group of Arawaks called the Caribs was present on a small portion of the island and are said to have shot arrows at Columbus upon his arrival.’
    • ‘Also, the Caribs, who had resisted French expansion on Guadeloupe and Martinique, had been persuaded to relocate on St Vincent, St Lucia, and Dominica, three islands the French and the English agreed to keep neutral.’
    • ‘In the late 1700s, the Caribs knew that they needed some plan to defeat the French.’
    • ‘The British failed in their attempts to colonize the island in 1605 and 1638 and the French settled it, making a treaty with the Caribs in 1660.’
  • 2mass noun The language of the Caribs, the only member of the Cariban family of languages still spoken by a substantial number of people (around 20,000).

    Also called Galibi

    ‘Black Caribs are descendants of freed black slaves and Carib Indians, and speak a language related to Carib.’
    • ‘For a time, Arawak was spoken primarily or exclusively by women and children, while adult men spoke Carib.’
    • ‘All of the interior Amerindians originally spoke Carib languages, with the exception of the Wapisiana, whose language is in the Arawak linguistic family.’
    • ‘We hear very little of them except that they spoke a different language from their lords and the probability is that they never spoke Carib.’
    • ‘Their descendants spoke a language which was a mixture of Arawak and Carib.’
  • 3

    (also Island Carib)
    mass noun An unrelated Arawakan language, now extinct, formerly spoken in the Lesser Antilles.
    See also Black Carib


  • 1Relating to the Caribs or their language.

    ‘The last fluent speaker of the Carib language reportedly died in the 1920s, although efforts are now being made to revive that language.’
    • ‘The native language of the Garifuna (called Garifuna or Garinagu) comes from the Arawak and Carib languages of their island ancestors.’
    • ‘The practice of smoking tobacco came from the native American Indians and the Carib Indians of Tobago.’
    • ‘The Carib Indians used kapok for drums and canoes but otherwise sheathed their axes in regard to the tree.’
    • ‘Their migration was followed and subsequently deterred by that of the Carib Indians, a nation of warriors.’
    • ‘The Carib Indians violently displaced the Arawak tribes around 1000 C.E. and called the island Camerhogne, until they also were driven out.’
    • ‘Pottery and other remnants have been found on the property which are remains of the Arawak and Carib Indians who settled here about 1500 years ago.’
    • ‘The Kunas are generally thought to be the last pure-blooded Carib Indians who survived the Spanish Conquest.’
    • ‘The earliest inhabitants were thought to have been Arawak Indians, and later also some Carib Indians, but they had disappeared by the time British settlers began to colonize the island in 1627.’
    • ‘The aboriginal population probably was made up of Arawak Indians who were killed off by Carib Indians by the time of Columbus's voyage in 1494.’
    • ‘Before the arrival of Europeans, Grenada was inhabited by Carib Indians who had driven the more peaceful Arawaks from the island.’
    • ‘The Carib Indians who defeated the Arawaks also considered Qualibou a special place.’
    • ‘Due in part to the defensive capabilities of the Carib Indians, Grenada remained uncolonized by European countries for most of the sixteenth century and half of the seventeenth century.’
    • ‘Though he was delighted with the six Carib Indians that returned with the expedition, Cosimo judged the venture insufficiently profitable to continue to finance any subsequent transoceanic voyages.’
    • ‘‘Caribbean’ actually refers to the Carib Indians.’
    • ‘Tellingly, though, the cannon all face inland, towards the impenetrable hills where the last of the Carib Indians held out against the colonisers until the late 18th century.’
    • ‘Bouton, who assesses the dismal prospects for conversion of African slaves in six pages, devotes two entire chapters to the Carib Indians.’
    • ‘Garifuna, descendants of Africans and Carib Indians, also came to the colony.’
    • ‘Native Carib Indians believed that certain trees and tree species were the homes of spirits.’
    • ‘The first canoes are thought to have been used by Carib Indians and native North Americans and were made by hollowing out large logs.’
    1. 1.1Relating to Island Carib or Black Carib.
      ‘Carib is spoken along the Caribbean coast by the Garifunas, or Black Caribs, the descendants of fugitive slaves and Carib Indians.’
      • ‘The warlike Carib people drove the Arawaks from neighboring islands but apparently did not settle on either Antigua or Barbuda.’
      • ‘The locals sometimes call the main island ‘Hairoun,’ its Carib name.’
      • ‘It was the presence of the marine crocodile, however, that gave the islands their name, after the Carib word caymanas.’
      • ‘Each of a dozen native groups speaks a different Carib, Arawak, or Warrau dialect.’


From Spanish caribe, from Haitian Creole. Compare with cannibal.