\ 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 Because in those difficult conditions, having kids is really important for the survival of the tribe. Deborah Martin,, "Rare jewelry in ‘Exquisite Adornment’ exhibit will expand San Antonio Museum of Art’s Asian collection," 16 Nov. 2020 Navajo Nation residents over the weekend were under a 56-hour curfew due to what officials said was uncontrolled spread of COVID-19 in more than 20 of the tribe's communities. Chelsea Curtis, The Arizona Republic, "Arizona reports more than 2,300 new COVID-19 cases, 2 new known deaths Sunday," 15 Nov. 2020 When a Tlingit elder dies, leaders from the Alaska Native tribe's two houses, the Raven and Eagle clans, typically come together along with family and well-wishers for a memorial ceremony featuring displays of traditional tribal regalia. Mark Thiessen, Star Tribune, "Alaska Tlingits hold memorial ceremony online amid pandemic," 10 Nov. 2020 The tribe's health department ordered the 56-hour weekend curfews, beginning at 9 p.m. Friday until 5 a.m. on Nov. 9, according to a news release from the Navajo Nation executive branch. Jessica Flores, USA TODAY, "Coronavirus updates: Massachusetts restrictions begin Friday; Maine imposes mask mandate; Idaho hospitals running out of space," 6 Nov. 2020 The tribe's government also imposed a 10 p.m. curfew on its reservation. Cary Spivak, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "American Indian COVID-19 numbers in Wisconsin stayed low until Sept. 1. 'Then all of a sudden, boom.'," 21 Oct. 2020 The 32-foot canoe was built in 1999 by Harrington and others in part as a way to get in touch with the tribe's canoe-making past. Keith Matheny, Detroit Free Press, "Group thinks it has found proof of 10,000-year-old, Ice Age culture in Straits of Mackinac," 14 Oct. 2020 Ashue described the tribe's Internet problems and use of Starlink in a video produced by the Washington State Department of Commerce. Jon Brodkin, Ars Technica, "Remote tribe says SpaceX Starlink “catapulted” them into 21st century," 12 Oct. 2020 The Biden campaign rallied supporters starting in the Navajo Nation, though the stop appeared to violate the tribe's COVID-19 restrictions. Caitlin Conant, CBS News, "2020 Daily Trail Markers: 2nd presidential debate in doubt," 8 Oct. 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

23 Nov 2020

Cite this Entry

“Tribe.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 1 Dec. 2020.

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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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