\ 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 states were joined by conservation groups and Montana’s Northern Cheyenne tribe in a lawsuit that seeks to revive a coal leasing moratorium imposed under President Barack Obama. Matthew Brown, The Seattle Times, "States ask court to stop Trump from reviving US coal sales," 12 Dec. 2018 When interacting with native tribes in the region such as the Calusa, the Spanish learned that these people had an understanding of the problem, and that shellfish could become poisonous through what scientists suspect were red tides. David Grossman, Popular Mechanics, "What Are Red Tides and Why Are They Getting Worse?," 14 Aug. 2018 Police registered more than 47,000 cases of crimes against people belonging to a lower caste or from a tribe in 2016, according to the latest national data. Huizhong Wu, CNN, "8 killed as widespread Indian caste protests turn violent," 2 Apr. 2018 His responsibilities include wolf management for Ojibwe tribes in Wisconsin. Paul A. Smith, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Wolf presentation, panel slated for Sports Show," 10 Feb. 2018 In 1825, the U.S. government made treaties with two Native American tribes in the territory that would become Kansas. David Frese, kansascity, "Are you smarter than a Kansas 7th-grader of 100 years ago?," 29 Jan. 2018 Remarkable drone footage offers a rare glimpse of an isolated tribe in the Brazilian Amazon. James Rogers, Fox News, "Incredible drone footage shows isolated Amazon tribe," 24 Aug. 2018 Just as many Europeans have a hint of Neanderthal DNA, some native Himalayans, Filipino tribes, and other indigenous South Asian groups have up to five percent Denisovan DNA. John Wenz, Popular Mechanics, "A New Fossil Holds an Ancient Secret About Humanity," 22 Aug. 2018 To continue reading this story, TRY IT NOW A descendant of the Luiseño tribe in Southern California, Zavala sat among one of the largest Memorial Day crowds in memory at Fort Sam Houston National Cemetery’s assembly area. Sig Christenson, San Antonio Express-News, "On Memorial Day in S.A., the fallen are saluted and remembered," 28 May 2018

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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Statistics for tribe

Last Updated

17 Mar 2019

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Time Traveler for tribe

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

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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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More from Merriam-Webster on tribe

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with tribe

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for tribe

Spanish Central: Translation of tribe

Nglish: Translation of tribe for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of tribe for Arabic Speakers Encyclopedia article about tribe

Comments on tribe

What made you want to look up tribe? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


the range of authority or knowledge

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