Definition of Somali in English:


nounSomali, Somalis

  • 1A member of a mainly Muslim people of Somalia.

    • ‘There are two major ethnic groups in Djibouti, the Afars (sometimes also called the Danakil) and the Somalis.’
    • ‘Afar have a traditional preference for patrilateral cross-cousin marriage; the Issa and other Somalis are less strict.’
    • ‘In June 1976, the territory's citizenship law, which favored the Afar minority, was revised to reflect more closely the weight of the Issa Somali.’
    • ‘The decision means that thousands of migrants, among them Zimbabweans, Iraqis, and Somalis who were given the right to live temporarily in Britain, could now be sent back home.’
    • ‘Some 40 percent of the striking workers are comprised of immigrant groups as various as Somalis, Tibetans and workers from the Balkans.’
    • ‘This synthesis of spiritual worldviews is not unique to Hausa Islam, but is found in most other Afro-Islamic communities, such as those of the Somali, the Swahili, and the Bambara.’
    1. 1.1mass noun The Cushitic language of the Somalis, the official language of Somalia, also spoken in Djibouti and parts of Kenya and Ethiopia, and having over 6 million speakers.
      • ‘All Somalis speak Somali, the official language.’
      • ‘It is home to people of different national origins whose first languages include Somali, Hindi, Urdu and Bengali.’
      • ‘The desert-dwelling peoples of the Southeast speak dialects of Somali.’
      • ‘In Southall campaigners toured local estates with a loudspeaker car, with speakers in Punjabi and Somali as well as English.’
      • ‘Speakers of African language Lingala, Persian language Farsi, Lithuanian and Somali are among those needed.’
    2. 1.2A native or inhabitant of Somalia.
      • ‘There are photographs of Iraqis, Kurds, Somalis and refugees from the former Soviet Union.’
      • ‘The measure affected Afghans, Somalis and Chechens facing return to regions beset by civil wars or with no functioning government.’
      • ‘It was part of a nationwide crackdown on the centers that Somalis use to send money home to family members.’
      • ‘The largest single group of students are Chinese, followed by Afghans, Russians and Somalis.’
      • ‘The Somalis come in to browse for news of their country.’


  • Relating to Somalia, the Somalis, or their language.

    • ‘Despite his fluency in the Somali language and culture, Ibrahim considers himself thoroughly American.’
    • ‘If Mo breaks through into the big time, a lot of doors will open for Somali people.’
    • ‘And those same Somali students who streamed into the ESL program have also pushed up local school enrollment, which translates into increased federal and state funding.’
    • ‘While national reporting has observed the growth of Republican suburbs in the last few Minnesota election cycles, the swelling of Somali voter rolls could be a boost for Democrats.’
    • ‘There are television and radio broadcasts in the French, Afar, Somali, and Arabic languages.’


The name in Somali.