Definition of Mbundu in English:



  • 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.’’