\ 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

Native Americans used hand gestures to communicate with other tribes and to facilitate trade with Europeans. National Geographic, "How monks helped invent sign language," 28 May 2019 Maximilian HorsleyArakan TravelHe takes travelers deep into the countryside for market tours, monastery visits, and encounters with hill tribes and with insiders who can contextualize the country’s ongoing internal conflicts. Paul Brady, Condé Nast Traveler, "2018 Top Travel Specialists We Trust," 19 Oct. 2018 Hauer said the district met with the tribe earlier this year to discuss their partnership and talk about construction needs for the school. Karen Pearlman,, "Sycuan band donates a quarter-million dollars to Dehesa School," 18 June 2018 The March 2016 fatal shooting of Loreal Tsingine, a citizen of the Navajo Nation, by Winslow Officer Austin Shipley strained relations between the city and the tribe., "Police shootings in Arizona," 19 June 2019 Christina Snider, Newsom’s tribal advisor and a member of the Dry Creek Rancheria Band of Pomo Indians, will lead the council and delegates from the state’s tribes will work with her to issue a draft report on its findings by Jan. 1. Taryn Luna,, "Newsom apologizes for California’s history of violence against Native Americans," 18 June 2019 The moment exemplified to what extent Facebook’s ambitions have torn asunder the tribe of cryptocurrency enthusiasts. Robert Hackett, Fortune, "Facebook’s Cryptocurrency Ambitions Provoke Heated Debate—The Ledger," 17 June 2019 Off the northeast coast of the North Island, the tribe manages Zealandia’s mirror image: a steep but beautiful rocky islet called Mauitaha, which may be the world’s only rat sanctuary. Charlie Hamilton James, National Geographic, "How rats became an inescapable part of city living," 17 June 2019 The story of the Jingle Dress Dance traces to the 1920s with the Ojibwe tribe around Wisconsin, Minnesota and Ontario, according to Google's explanation. Harmeet Kaur, CNN, "This Google Doodle celebrates a dance performed by Native American women," 15 June 2019

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

7 Jul 2019

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Time Traveler for tribe

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

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More Definitions for tribe



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

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