Tua·​reg ˈtwä-ˌreg How to pronounce Tuareg (audio)
variants or less commonly
plural Tuareg or Tuaregs also Touareg or Touaregs
: a member of a nomadic people of the central and western Sahara and along the middle Niger from Tombouctou to Nigeria

Word History


borrowed from North African Bedouin Arabic ṭwārəg, plural of ṭārgi, perhaps an adjective derivative from "Targa," alleged to be a Berber name for Fezzan, region of southwest Libya

Note: This etymology is from the article Ṭawāiḳ by the Berber and Tuareg specialist Karl-Gustav Prasse in Encyclopaedia of Islam, 2nd edition. A similar origin is suggested by Heinrich Barth in Reisen und Entdeckungen in Nord- und Central-Afrika in den Jahren 1849 bis 1855, Band 1 (Gotha, 1857), p. 246.

First Known Use

1821, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of Tuareg was in 1821

Dictionary Entries Near Tuareg

Cite this Entry

“Tuareg.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/Tuareg. Accessed 6 Feb. 2023.

Kids Definition


Tua·​reg ˈtwä-ˌreg How to pronounce Tuareg (audio)
plural Tuareg or Tuaregs
: a member of a nomadic people of Africa
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