Xho·​sa ˈḵō-sə How to pronounce Xhosa (audio) ˈhō- How to pronounce Xhosa (audio)
 or  ˈḵȯ-sə,
: a member of a Bantu-speaking people of Eastern Cape province
: a Bantu language of the Xhosas

Examples of Xhosa in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web In addition, clicks have made it into a few of the Niger-Congo languages of southern Africa, such as Zulu and Xhosa (which is the language of Nelson Mandela). Jared Diamond, Discover Magazine, 17 Apr. 2023 The art features the song’s title and her name in South African Xhosa language, which is used by the characters in Wakanda. Tomás Mier, Rolling Stone, 28 Oct. 2022 There are about 4 million Cape Coloureds and 8 million Xhosa. Razib Khan, Discover Magazine, 6 Nov. 2011 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

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

Word History


Xhosa -xhosa (as in umXhosa a Xhosa person)

First Known Use

1801, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of Xhosa was in 1801

Dictionary Entries Near Xhosa

Cite this Entry

“Xhosa.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/Xhosa. Accessed 25 Feb. 2024.

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