\ ˈtrīb How to pronounce tribe (audio) \

Definition of tribe

1a : a social group comprising numerous families, clans, or generations together with slaves, dependents, or adopted strangers
b : a political division of the Roman people originally representing one of the three original tribes of ancient Rome
c : phyle
2 : a group of persons having a common character, occupation, or interest
3 : a category of taxonomic classification ranking below a subfamily also : a natural group irrespective of taxonomic rank the cat tribe the rose tribe

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Examples of tribe in a Sentence

a tribe of artists with wild hair and casual manners the wedding joined the two tribes together
Recent Examples on the Web The clinic has shifted resources and personnel to take on testing, contact tracing and now vaccinations for the tribe. oregonlive, "Umatilla tribe’s clinic uses innovation, lamprey freezer to respond to COVID-19 crisis," 19 Dec. 2020 His organization manages a number of social programs for the tribe, including census outreach. Author: Michael Macagnone, Anchorage Daily News, "Falling through census cracks could hurt tribes," 9 Dec. 2020 With federal recognition would come potential benefits like land, a significant consideration for a tribe without any. Alexei Koseff,, "California bill seeks to give tribes more standing to recover sacred objects from museums," 28 Nov. 2020 The agreement that was negotiated in good faith turned out to be a bad bargain for the tribe. Debra Utacia Krol, The Arizona Republic, "After 400 years, Indigenous people reflect on the real story of the 'first Thanksgiving'," 25 Nov. 2020 And Escalante High in southern Utah goes by the name of the Moquis for a tribe nearby (though some question whether the term is actually a racist nickname). The Salt Lake Tribune, "New resolution would urge Utah schools to retire ‘hurtful and racist’ Native American mascots," 24 Nov. 2020 According to Sylvester Manor Educational Farm's website, for at least a thousand years before Europeans arrived on Shelter Island, the land that now makes up the manor's grounds served as settlements for the Manhansett tribe. Olivia Harrison,, "The Meaningful Reason Beyoncé Chose To Feature This New York Manor In Black Is King," 17 Aug. 2020 This reversed a 2015 decision by the Obama administration that set aside 321 acres for the tribe. Nick Martin, The New Republic, "Can Kamala Harris Earn the Trust of Indian Country?," 14 Aug. 2020 For the Karuk tribe, the problem began in 1906, when the Klamath Project, a federal initiative, started draining the wetlands abutting the river to turn them into farmland. Jeremy Deaton, Scientific American, "Trying to Tame the Klamath River Filled It with Toxic Algae," 10 Aug. 2020

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'tribe.' 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 tribe

13th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

History and Etymology for tribe

Middle English, from Latin tribus, a division of the Roman people, tribe

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Time Traveler for tribe

Time Traveler

The first known use of tribe was in the 13th century

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Statistics for tribe

Last Updated

16 Jan 2021

Cite this Entry

“Tribe.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 27 Jan. 2021.

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More Definitions for tribe


How to pronounce tribe (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of tribe

: a group of people that includes many families and relatives who have the same language, customs, and beliefs
informal + humorous : a large family
humorous + sometimes disapproving : a group of people who have the same job or interest


\ ˈtrīb How to pronounce tribe (audio) \

Kids Definition of tribe

1 : a group of people including many families, clans, or generations an American Indian tribe
2 : a group of people who are of the same kind or have the same occupation or interest


\ ˈtrīb How to pronounce tribe (audio) \

Medical Definition of tribe

: a category of taxonomic classification sometimes equivalent to or ranking just below a suborder but more commonly ranking below a subfamily

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Comments on tribe

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