African

noun
Af·​ri·​can | \ ˈa-fri-kən How to pronounce African (audio) also ˈä- \

Definition of African

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : a native or inhabitant of Africa
2 : a person and especially a Black person of African ancestry

African

adjective

Definition of African (Entry 2 of 2)

: of, relating to, or characteristic of the continent of Africa or its people

Other Words from African

Adjective

Africanness \ ˈa-​fri-​kə(n)-​nəs How to pronounce African (audio) \ noun

First Known Use of African

Noun

before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Adjective

1548, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for African

Noun

Middle English Aufrican, Affrican, going back to Old English Africanas (plural), borrowed from Latin Āfricānus african entry 2

Adjective

borrowed from Latin Āfricānus, from Āfrica (short for Āfrica terra, literally, "African land," from feminine of Āfricus "of the Roman province of Africa [present-day northern Tunisia], of the continent of Africa," from Āfr-, Āfer "of Africa, inhabitant of North Africa [other than Egypt]" —of unknown origin— + -icus -ic entry 1) + -ānus -an entry 2

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Time Traveler for African

Time Traveler

The first known use of African was before the 12th century

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Cite this Entry

“African.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/African. Accessed 12 May. 2021.

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More Definitions for African

African

noun

English Language Learners Definition of African

: a person born, raised, or living in Africa
: a descendant of Africans

African

noun
Af·​ri·​can | \ ˈa-fri-kən How to pronounce African (audio) \

Kids Definition of African

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: a person born or living in Africa

African

adjective

Kids Definition of African (Entry 2 of 2)

: of or relating to Africa or African people African history African wildlife

More from Merriam-Webster on African

Nglish: Translation of African for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of African for Arabic Speakers

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