Definition of Kikuyu in English:

Share this entry


Pronunciation: /kiˈko͞oyo͞o/

noun (plural same or Kikuyus)

1A member of the largest ethnic group in Kenya.
Example sentences
  • Although most members were Kikuyus, they encouraged all ethnic groups to join together to achieve independence.
  • For his generation that was born in Kenya with its mixture of Kikuyus and whites, Indians and Masais, the memories are of the magical years of school and friendships and the lurking fear of violence that was never far away.
  • By the 1950s urbanization was combining with grievances about forced labour during the Second World War, and with the ongoing land question, to produce unprecedented resentment among the Kikuyu.
2The Bantu language of the Kikuyu.
Example sentences
  • Other ethnic languages include Luo, Kikuyu, Kamba, Luyia, Gusii, and Kalenjin, which are usually spoken at home.
  • Like India, Kenya too has many languages and Caroline writes poems in three languages, English, Swahili, and Kikuyu.
  • Major ethnic languages in Kenya include Kikuyu, Luo, Kiluyia, Kikamba, Samburu, Maasai, and others.
3 (kikuyu, kikuyu grass) A creeping perennial grass native to Kenya and cultivated elsewhere as a lawn and fodder grass.
  • Pennisetum clandestinum, family Gramineae.
Example sentences
  • But it was this raft of feet and noise that followed a disappointed Charlie down through the kikuyu grass at the edge of the dunes.
  • This is a good option if your lawn has the sort of grass with runners, like kikuyu.
  • Margaret rang in with a question about lawns - she says hers looks very sad - it's a mixture of couch, kikuyu and dichondria - but one area doesn't want to grow anything at all.


Relating to the Kikuyu people or their language.
Example sentences
  • It is perhaps understandable that the Kikuyu people who reside on its lower slopes thought it fit for Gods' abode.
  • For example, Kikuyu teachers need to be empowered to use other means of discipline beyond corporal punishment, so that the child's rights are protected and the practices of the home are respected.
  • One Kikuyu female farmer, for example, approached a large farm with a proposal to pay a small fee to tap into their irrigation system.


A local name.

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: Ki·ku·yu

Share this entry

What do you find interesting about this word or phrase?

Comments that don't adhere to our Community Guidelines may be moderated or removed.