Definition of Bantu in English:

Bantu

Translate Bantu into Spanish

adjective

  • Relating to or denoting a group of Niger–Congo languages spoken in central and southern Africa, including Swahili, Xhosa, and Zulu.

    ‘The San people were also similarly displaced and reduced in numbers by the arrival of invading Bantu farmers (and later by white farmers) to the south a few centuries later.’
    • ‘He said that according to old Bantu law, virginity was sacred.’
    • ‘It's a land where Bantu roots and Islam have intertwined since the tenth century.’
    • ‘Had the world been slightly different, a Bantu leader riding a rhinoceros might very well have led a conquering army from sub-Saharan Africa to overthrow the Roman Empire two thousand years ago.’
    • ‘Because of the differences cited above, they had kept on running - fleeing the Bantu groups that were ever invading their territories.’

Pronunciation

Bantu

/ˈbanˌto͞o/ /ˈbænˌtu/

nounplural noun Bantu, plural noun Bantus

  • 1A group of Niger–Congo languages spoken in central and southern Africa, including Swahili, Xhosa, and Zulu.

    ‘Kenya is a multilingual and multicultural nation, with 42 different languages spoken, including Bantu, Arabic, and Nilotic.’
    • ‘The Swahili language, a mixture of Bantu and Arabic, developed as a lingua franca for trade between the different peoples.’
    • ‘Swahili, which comes from the Arabic word meaning ‘coast,’ is a mix of Arabic and the African language Bantu.’
    • ‘The Hutu, Tutsi, and Twa all speak the same Central Bantu language.’
    • ‘Its vocabulary is mostly French, with a few Malagasy, Bantu, English, and Hindi words.’
  • 2 offensive A member of an indigenous people of central and southern Africa that speaks a Bantu language.

    • ‘The Bantus, particularly the Kikuyu, established a stronghold in Kenya's interior around Mount Kenya, largely as a result of their sophisticated tools and weapons.’
    • ‘Torture and war survivor counselor Sherif Amin, who is also Somali, says Somalis here will treat the Bantus with respect.’
    • ‘The arrival of the Bantus from the north about 1,600 years ago in Zambia changed the landscape from that of hunters/gatherers to that of farmers.’
    • ‘Conflict among Bantu-speaking chiefdoms was as common and severe as that between Bantus and whites.’
    • ‘By the fourteenth century A.D., most of southern Africa belonged to the Bantu.’

Pronunciation

Bantu

/ˈbanˌto͞o/ /ˈbænˌtu/

Usage

The word Bantu became a strongly offensive term under the apartheid regime in South Africa, especially when used to refer to a single individual. In standard current use in South Africa the term black or African is used as a collective or non-specific term for African peoples. The term Bantu has, however, continued to be accepted as a neutral ‘scientific’ term outside South Africa used to refer to the group of languages and their speakers collectively

Origin

Mid 19th century plural (in certain Bantu languages) of -ntu ‘person’.