tribal

adjective
trib·​al | \ ˈtrī-bəl How to pronounce tribal (audio) \

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 How to pronounce tribally (audio) \ 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

Still staking out the land in southern Virginia and northeastern North Carolina, the majority of our tribal members are now some form of Southern Baptist, a direct result of what the English government sought some 300 years ago. Nick Martin, The New Republic, "IT: Chapter Two and the Great American Tradition of Selling Native Spirituality," 16 Sep. 2019 Native tribal members and other advocates have taken offense at Norton’s larger-than-life-size depictions of pioneering white explorers, religious leaders and laborers standing over blacks and Native Americans in more subservient roles. Frederick Melo, Twin Cities, "Historical society hosts competition for rotating replacements for St. Paul City Council’s controversial wall art," 8 Sep. 2019 Gasco-Bentley, 62, of Petoskey, has served on the tribal council for 14 years and previously served as secretary and legislative leader, according to the 2018 news release announcing her appointment. Paul Egan, Detroit Free Press, "Whitmer wants civil rights director ousted: These 8 people could decide his fate," 15 Aug. 2019 At the time, the Mashpee had just begun construction on its tribal casino, which would not require state approval. BostonGlobe.com, "The Massachusetts Gaming Commission on Thursday refused to reconsider its 2016 denial of a proposed casino in Brockton, leaving no project with a clear path to approval for the state’s final resort casino license.," 13 Sep. 2019 Donna Kalil, Kirkland’s only woman hunter, told me to meet her in the parking lot of the Miccosukee tribal casino at 5:30 on a weekday afternoon. Gena Steffens, Smithsonian, "The Snakes That Ate Florida," 11 July 2019 Find jewelry, artwork, clothing and musical instruments, made by enrolled tribal members. oregonlive, "Let ‘er Buck: How to navigate the Pendleton Round-Up," 31 Aug. 2019 Other shots show Depp interacting with tribal members on native land. Brieanna J. Frank, azcentral, "Dior ad for 'Sauvage' perfume featuring Native American dancer, Johnny Depp draws criticism," 30 Aug. 2019 Indigenous leaders who favor sustainable development and preservation of communal traditions find themselves at odds with tribal members lured by cash payouts from outsiders eager to cut their trees or dig up their minerals. Felipe Fittipaldi, National Geographic, "Inside the faltering fight against illegal Amazon logging," 28 Aug. 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

The boys can’t really be faulted for not being able to decipher the words of the song—because the movement, and its anthem, is meant to be pan-tribal, to inspire unity among Native nations, most renditions of the song do not translate it into words. Rebecca Bengal, Vogue, "The Power of Nathan Phillips’s Song," 21 Jan. 2019 Indeed, all the angry tribals are asking is that the government respect its own laws and undertakings. The Economist, "Stone-carving villagers make Indian officials jittery," 7 June 2018 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

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

9 Oct 2019

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 How to pronounce tribal (audio) \

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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