Meaning of Mbundu in English:


Pronunciation /(ə)mˈbʊnduː/

nounplural noun Mbundu

  • 1A member of either of two peoples of western Angola.

    ‘In the 19th century, following wars with the Ovimbundu, Ambo, Humbo, and Kuvale, the Portuguese began to exploit the mineral reserves of the hinterland.’
    • ‘The largest ethnic group is the Ovimbundu, comprising 37 percent of the population.’
    • ‘The Nyemba people today include various clans and tribes of which the following are the more prominent: Cokwe, Ovimbundu, Luvale, Mbunda, Khankala, Jauma, and Luchazes.’
  • 2mass noun Either of the Bantu languages of the Mbundu peoples, often distinguished as Umbundu (related to Herero and spoken by around 3 million people) and Kimbundu (related to Kikongo and spoken by nearly 2 million people).

    ‘But this means that we should expect that dozens of other Black English words had been traced to, say, Bambara, Mende, Twi, Yoruba, Efik, Umbundu, and so on.’
    • ‘Six of the Bantu languages were selected as national languages: Chokwe, Kikongo, Kimbundo, Mbunda, Oxikuanyama, and Umbundu.’
    • ‘We designed standardised questionnaires in Portuguese and Umbundu and piloted them among displaced families north of Luanda before the survey began.’
    • ‘Thus people taken prisoner after Angola's independence had to learn Umbundu.’
    • ‘Portuguese is the official language, although 95 percent of Angolans speak Ovimbundu, Mbundu, Kongo, Chokwe, and other languages.’


  • Relating to the Mbundu or their languages.

    ‘In the Mbundu ethnic group, a daughter joins her husband in his village, and a son joins his uncle's (mother's brother's) village.’
    • ‘Within the Angolan context, she describes how colonial rule upset the local naming system in the Ovimbundu cultures, as it privileged patrilineal over matrilineal naming systems.’
    • ‘While in his early days he had enjoyed some support among his own Ovimbundu people, by this time he was reduced to naked coercion.’
    • ‘The Kongo, Ndongo, and Ovimbundu kingdoms had early contact with the Portuguese, who in the sixteenth century created colonies on the coast.’
    • ‘The word Ngangela is derived from the Umbundu word which means, ‘from the east.’’