Bantu

noun
Ban·​tu | \ ˈban-(ˌ)tü How to pronounce Bantu (audio) , ˈbän- How to pronounce Bantu (audio) \
plural Bantu or Bantus

Definition of Bantu

1 : a family of Niger-Congo languages spoken in central and southern Africa
2 : a member of any of a group of African peoples who speak Bantu languages

First Known Use of Bantu

1862, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for Bantu

ba-, a plural noun classifier + -ntu, noun base meaning "person" in several Bantu languages

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about Bantu

Time Traveler for Bantu

Time Traveler

The first known use of Bantu was in 1862

See more words from the same year

Statistics for Bantu

Cite this Entry

“Bantu.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/Bantu. Accessed 23 Feb. 2020.

Comments on Bantu

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

WORD OF THE DAY

See Definitions and Examples »

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

More Confusing Words—Quiz

  • cats on impossible timber
  • The magician ______ moved the selected card to the top of the deck.
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

TAKE THE QUIZ
Syn City

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!