noun \sō-ˈmä-lē, sə-\
plural Somali or Somalis

Definition of SOMALI

:  a member of a people of Somaliland
:  the Cushitic language of the Somali
Somali adjective

Origin of SOMALI

from or akin to Somali Soomaali
First Known Use: 1814


noun    (Concise Encyclopedia)

Any member of a large group of people occupying all of Somalia and parts of Djibouti, Ethiopia, and Kenya. Their language is of the Cushitic branch of the Afroasiatic family. Numbering more than seven million, the Somalis are divided into northern, central, and southern groups. All have been Muslim since at least the 14th century. They are primarily nomadic herdsmen who, because of intense competition for scarce resources, have been extremely individualistic and frequently involved in blood feuds or wars with neighbouring clans or peoples. A second category of Somalis are the townspeople and agriculturalists of the urban centres, especially along the coast of the Horn of Africa, many of whom act as commercial middlemen between the Arab world and the nomads of the interior.


Next Word in the Dictionary: somalo
Previous Word in the Dictionary: somal
All Words Near: Somali

Seen & Heard

What made you want to look up Somali? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).