San

noun
\ ˈsän How to pronounce San (audio) \

Definition of San

1 plural in construction : a member of any of the indigenous and traditionally hunter-gatherer peoples of southern Africa who are considered the oldest inhabitants of the region

Note: The San are also referred to as Bushmen, a term that continues in widespread use but is sometimes considered offensive.

2 : the Khoisan languages spoken by the San people

First Known Use of San

1876, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for San

Khoikhoi

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about San

Statistics for San

Last Updated

20 Jan 2021

Cite this Entry

“San.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/San. Accessed 26 Feb. 2021.

Style: MLA
MLA Chicago APA Merriam-Webster

More from Merriam-Webster on San

Britannica English: Translation of San for Arabic Speakers

Comments on San

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

WORD OF THE DAY

Test Your Vocabulary

February 2021 Words of the Day Quiz

  • squirrel in winter
  • Which is a synonym of perdure?
True or False

Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Typeshift

Anagram puzzles meet word search.

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!