tribe | Meaning of tribe in English and Middle English with examples - infoAnew" /> tribe" /> tribe" /> tribe definition" /> tribe in a sentence" />

🤩 Discover new information from across the web

tribe definition


This page has 14 definitions of tribe in English and Middle English. Tribe is a noun and verb. Examples of how to use tribe in a sentence are shown. Also define these 0 related words and terms: .

See also: Tribe

English tribe definition


PIE word

From Middle English tribe, tribu, from Old French tribu, from Latin tribus. Doublet of tribus.



tribe (plural tribes)

  1. (history, anthropology) An ethnic group larger than a band or clan (and which may contain clans) but smaller than a nation (and which in turn may be contained within a nation). The tribe is often the basis of ethnic identity.
    the Twelve Tribes of Israel Germanic tribes Celtic tribes
    The Formation of Kazakh Identity: From Tribe to Nation-state
  2. (synecdoche) A tribal nation or people.
  3. (derogatory) A nation or people in an area considered culturally primitive, such as Africa, Australia or Native America.
  4. A socially cohesive group of people within a society.
    • 2005, Sean Dooley, The Big Twitch, Sydney: Allen and Unwin, page 26:
      The thought of spending a year in close company with twitchers chilled me to the core. Not that I have anything against them, I am terribly fond of the members of the tribe, it is just that basically, they are a bunch of obsessive freaks.
  5. A class or group of things.
    • 1972, Carol A. Nemeyer, Scholarly Reprint Publishing in the United States, New York, N.Y.: R. R. Bowker Co., →ISBN, page 7:
      In 1968, estimates of the number of active reprint publishers ranged from about 20 to 100 publishers. The fact that almost 300 U.S. reprint publishers have been identified is evidence that the reprint tribe continues to increase.
  6. (zoology) A group of apes who live and work together.
  7. (taxonomy) A hierarchal rank between family and genus.
  8. A group of affiliated Mardi Gras Indians.
  9. The collective noun for various animals.
  10. (stock breeding) A family of animals descended from some particular female progenitor, through the female line.
    the Duchess tribe of shorthorns


Derived terms



tribe (third-person singular simple present tribes, present participle tribing, simple past and past participle tribed)

  1. (transitive) To distribute into tribes or classes; to categorize.
    • 1696-1699, William Nicolson, English Historical Library
      Our fowl, fish, and quadruped are well tribed.

See also


Middle English tribe definition

Alternative forms


From Old French tribu, from Latin tribus.


  • IPA(key): /ˈtriːb(ə)/, /ˈtriːbu/


tribe (plural tribus)

  1. One of the twelve tribes of Israel.
  2. (rare) Any tribe or kin group.
  3. (rare) A league or grouping.