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Af·​ri·​can ˈa-fri-kən How to pronounce African (audio)
 also  ˈä-
: a native or inhabitant of Africa
: a person and especially a Black person of African ancestry


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

Examples of African in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web
Truth of Freedom: African Diaspora to Afrofuturism: Coinciding with Juneteenth is an exhibit that explores the African Diaspora's history and new visions of justice for Black people through Afrofuturism. Domenica Bongiovanni, The Indianapolis Star, 10 May 2024 Beyond Etihad, JetBlue has partnership agreements in place with several other carriers, including Hawaiian Airlines, Icelandair, Qatar Airways, Singapore Airlines, South African Airways, and semi-private jet company JSX. Alison Fox, Travel + Leisure, 8 May 2024 According to the Rays, the first phase will break ground next spring with the ballpark and initially include 1,500 residential units, 500 hotel rooms, office and medical space, a new Woodson African American Museum of Florida, as well as entertainment, conference, ballroom and meeting spaces. Curt Anderson, Fortune, 8 May 2024 Hispanics or Latinos make up 32.5% of its population while African Americans make up 5.5%. Lucas E. Wright, USA TODAY, 7 May 2024 The new minimum set of race and ethnicity categories on the census and other federal forms will be: American Indian or Alaska Native, Asian, Black or African American, Hispanic or Latino, Middle Eastern or North African, Native Hawaiian or Pacific Islander, and white. Kamal Morgan, Fort Worth Star-Telegram, 7 May 2024 Douglass asserted that photographs gave African Americans the opportunity to control their self-representation. TIME, 6 May 2024 According to the South African Broadcasting Corporation, the passengers were a group from Botswana, who were traveling to a church in Moira for an Easter conference. Brian Brant, Peoplemag, 3 Apr. 2024 Derik du Plessis, a 44-year-old South African who has lived in Hualien for 17 years, described chaos and panic on the streets after the earthquake as people rushed to pick up their children and check on their houses. John Yoon, New York Times, 3 Apr. 2024
Below is a field of pink African daisies, or gazanias. Caron Golden, San Diego Union-Tribune, 11 May 2024 On May 10, the Duchess of Sussex, 42, arrived in the African country with her husband, Prince Harry, for their first official tour since stepping back from their royal roles in 2020. Janine Henni, Peoplemag, 11 May 2024 Faculty who signed the letter represented various departments including those of mathematics, American Indian Studies, Near Eastern Languages and Cultures, Asian American Studies, history, Chicana/o and Central American Studies, African American Studies, and anthropology. Teresa Watanabe, Los Angeles Times, 11 May 2024 Their African skincare, or A-Beauty line, is formulated with antioxidants — including turmeric, okra, quasil and black seed — to target skincare concerns on a cellular level like hyperpigmentation, a common condition that people with melanin experience. Anaja I. Smith, The Hollywood Reporter, 10 May 2024 In February, Wood announced a first-in-the-nation Black Honors College to open this fall, with curriculum and instruction that focuses on the Black and African American experience and features specialized coursework and research opportunities. Darrell Smith, Sacramento Bee, 10 May 2024 In 1974, Taylor and Channel 4 photojournalist Clayborn Benson spent several weeks in Ghana for a four-part series on life in the western African nation, including talking with Black Americans who had moved to Ghana. Chris Foran, Journal Sentinel, 10 May 2024 The Cincinnatus Association is partnering with the Greater Cincinnati & Northern Kentucky African American Chamber of Commerce and The Cincinnati Enquirer for this event. The Enquirer, 10 May 2024 Mont Rochelle’s five total room categories are named for grape varieties and styles of South African wine: Shiraz, the entry-level accommodation, Merlot, and Cabernet are all traditional rooms, while the Pinotage and Cap Classique are suites. Hannah Selinger, Travel + Leisure, 10 May 2024

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'African.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History



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


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

First Known Use


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


1548, in the meaning defined above

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

Dictionary Entries Near African

Cite this Entry

“African.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 20 May. 2024.

Kids Definition


: a person born or living in Africa
: a person of African ancestry
African adjective
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