Definition of Matabele in English:



  • The Ndebele people collectively, particularly those of Zimbabwe.

    • ‘Today it is the Matabele in Zimbabwe who are particularly suffering.’
    • ‘There is no love lost between the Matabele and the other major tribe.’
    • ‘The Matabeles are an off-shoot of the once mighty Zulus who conquered most of southern Africa in the early 19th Century.’
    • ‘The southern section of Rhodesia was home to the Zulu-descended Matabeles, while the north was home to their traditional enemies, the Mashona.’
    • ‘In 1888 he was instrumental in gaining British authority over Matabeleland and Mashonaland through the Moffat Treaty with the Matabele.’


From Sotho matebele, singular letebele, the name given to this people.