Mbu·​ti em-ˈbü-tē How to pronounce Mbuti (audio)
plural Mbuti or Mbutis
: bambuti
In the forest, these Bantu and Sudanic cultivators encountered various groups of hunter-gatherers collectively known in the Ituri as Mbuti.Richard B. Peterson, Cultural Survival Quarterly, 1990
But capturing the animal is not easy in the dense Ituri, which only the Mbuti know well.Sandra Mbanefo, Our Living World, October 1992
Egyptian documents indicate that in 2300 b.c. the Egyptians were in contact with Pygmies called Aka, which is still the name of one major Mbuti group …Luigi Cavalli-Sforza et al., The History and Geography of Human Genes, 1994
… the Mbuti people of Congo hunt communally with nets.Barbara Ehrenreich, Ms., June/July 1999
: a member of this people
: a Bambuti hunter-gatherer people of the Ituri Forest of central Africa
Phylogenetic and sequence divergence estimates indicate that … the Mbuti and Biaka Pygmies had independent origins.Michael Yudell et al., The Genomic Revolution: Unveiling the Unity of Life, 2002
: the language of the Mbuti people

Word History

First Known Use

1977, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

Time Traveler
The first known use of Mbuti was in 1977

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Cite this Entry

“Mbuti.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/Mbuti. Accessed 28 Feb. 2024.

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