Khoi·​san ˈkȯi-ˌsän How to pronounce Khoisan (audio)
: a group of African peoples speaking Khoisan languages
: a group of languages of southern and eastern Africa that have clicks in their consonantal inventories and that include the languages of the Khoikhoi and San

Examples of Khoisan in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web But the puzzling placements of blacks, Pygmies, and Khoisan hint at past population upheavals. Jared Diamond, Discover Magazine, 17 Apr. 2023 The history of South Africa is complex, but to keep it very simple: The region was home to many African societies, including the Khoisan, Xhosa, Zulu, Tswana and Ndebele. Gillian Brockell, Washington Post, 5 May 2023 The Dutch established a settlement in the 1600s, clashing with Khoisan and bringing enslaved people in from other parts of Africa. Gillian Brockell, Washington Post, 5 May 2023

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

Word History


Khoikhoi + San

First Known Use

1930, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of Khoisan was in 1930

Dictionary Entries Near Khoisan

Cite this Entry

“Khoisan.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 1 Dec. 2023.

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