tribal

adjective
trib·​al | \ˈtrī-bəl \

Definition of tribal 

(Entry 1 of 2)

: of, relating to, or characteristic of a tribe tribal customs

tribal

noun

Definition of tribal (Entry 2 of 2)

: a member of an aboriginal people of India usually used in plural

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Other Words from tribal

Adjective

tribally \ˈtrī-​bə-​lē \ adverb

Synonyms & Antonyms for tribal

Synonyms: Adjective

ethnic, ethnical, racial

Antonyms: Adjective

nonracial

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Examples of tribal in a Sentence

Adjective

a tribal solidarity that transcends all other loyalties or bonds

Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective

The context in some regions of rural India today is that women’s bodies and their lands are treacherously intertwined, particularly for tribal, or Adivasi, women. Seema Yasmin, SELF, "In Rural India, Protecting Women From Witch Hunting, and an Impending Flood," 17 Aug. 2018 It would be managed by the Parks and Recreation Department in collaboration with tribal representatives. Adam Ashton, sacbee, "Jerry Brown's budget has $100 million surprise for West Sacramento and California Indians," 11 May 2018 The declarations are part of an annual process conducted by tribal representatives and state officials to manage fish populations. Paul A. Smith, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Smith: A decrease in walleye spearing declarations follows a year of record numbers," 25 Apr. 2018 The picture is often bleaker in places like Arizona, Utah, and New Mexico, which ranks among the lowest levels of Native American employment for states with tribal lands. Alexandra Mondalek, Vox, "Fake turquoise jewelry is hurting Native Americans economically," 24 Oct. 2018 The agency responds to events on tribal land, per protocol. Paige Cornwell, The Seattle Times, "Man shot dead by Puyallup tribal police in Tacoma; FBI investigates," 16 Oct. 2018 The Indian government is taking tribal land from the Adivasi communities to build hydroelectric dams. Seema Yasmin, SELF, "In Rural India, Protecting Women From Witch Hunting, and an Impending Flood," 17 Aug. 2018 Officials are also evacuating more than 30 tribal members from Kohatk, a village about 95 miles north of Ali Chuk. Erica Snow, WSJ, "Dam Threatens to Fail on Remote Arizona Reservation," 3 Oct. 2018 Allegations have been made against the church by more than a dozen tribal members from the Navajo Nation and Crow Tribe of Montana. Felicia Fonseca, Fox News, "Tribal members settle abuse cases against Mormon church," 22 Sep. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Some tribals are Hindu and others Christian, but many persist in forms of worship that predate both religions—such as erecting large stones to mark undertakings of great significance. The Economist, "Stone-carving villagers make Indian officials jittery," 7 June 2018 At tribal, Bradley spoke highly of how great everyone at Naviti has been getting along; that got some eye rolls. Rasputin Todd, Cincinnati.com, "Who was voted off 'Survivor' this week? (April 4) Did Mason's Angela Perkins advance?," 4 Apr. 2018 At Ghost Island, Kellyn was offered a 50/50 chance at a secret advantage but declined as there was also a 50/50 chance at losing her vote in the next tribal. Rasputin Todd, Cincinnati.com, "Who was voted off 'Survivor' this week? (April 25) Did Mason's Angela Perkins advance?," 25 Apr. 2018 But tribalism ultimately couldn’t save Pruitt from himself Being openly tribal has served Scott Pruitt well so far in his career, earning him the iron-clad support of industry, the far right, and Donald Trump alike. David Roberts, Vox, "Tribalism fueled Scott Pruitt’s rise to power — and the scandals that came with it," 5 July 2018 At Ghost Island, Kellyn was offered a 50/50 chance at a secret advantage but declined as there was also a 50/50 chance at losing her vote in the next tribal. Rasputin Todd, Cincinnati.com, "Who was voted off 'Survivor' this week? (April 25) Did Mason's Angela Perkins advance?," 25 Apr. 2018 At Ghost Island, Kellyn was offered a 50/50 chance at a secret advantage but declined as there was also a 50/50 chance at losing her vote in the next tribal. Rasputin Todd, Cincinnati.com, "Who was voted off 'Survivor' this week? (April 25) Did Mason's Angela Perkins advance?," 25 Apr. 2018 At Lavita, after a dramatic tribal, Laurel got some back-patting from Domenick and Kellyn for ratting out Dez last week. Rasputin Todd, Cincinnati.com, "Who was voted off 'Survivor' this week? (May 2) Did Mason's Angela Perkins advance?," 2 May 2018 The episode started with Libby having a pout fest about receiving votes in last week's tribal. Rasputin Todd, Cincinnati.com, "Who was voted off 'Survivor' this week? (April 18) Did Mason's Angela Perkins advance?," 18 Apr. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'tribal.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of tribal

Adjective

1632, in the meaning defined above

Noun

1953, in the meaning defined above

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Dictionary Entries near tribal

triazolyl

trib

tribady

tribal

tribalism

tribalist

tribalistic

Statistics for tribal

Last Updated

18 Dec 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for tribal

The first known use of tribal was in 1632

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More Definitions for tribal

tribal

adjective

English Language Learners Definition of tribal

: of or relating to a tribe or tribes

tribal

adjective
trib·​al | \ˈtrī-bəl \

Kids Definition of tribal

: relating to a tribe a tribal custom

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More from Merriam-Webster on tribal

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with tribal

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for tribal

Spanish Central: Translation of tribal

Nglish: Translation of tribal for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of tribal for Arabic Speakers

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