Definition of Shona in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˈSHōnə/

noun (plural same or Shonas)

1A member of a group of peoples inhabiting parts of southern Africa. See also Mashona.
Example sentences
  • Now we are whites, blacks, coloureds, Asians, Shonas, Ndebeles…
  • He is a government loyalist, a former police boss, a ruthless campaigner and inquisitor when it comes to identifying the opposition, and a member of the ruling ethnic group, the Shonas.
  • There are two main ethnic groups, the Shona, who represent 75 percent of the population, and the Ndebele, who represent 19 percent.
2Any of the Bantu languages spoken by the Shona.
Example sentences
  • In common with other Bantu languages, Shona has a basic CV syllable structure.
  • In others, such as Hausa, Shona, and Swahili, because of bilingualism and code-mixing, the influence may have affected not only vocabulary but also structure.
  • After we saw the movie last Saturday, I was chatting with Bill, and he said his field methods consultant's mother is a Shona speaker.


Relating to the Shona or their languages.
Example sentences
  • The musical short film, based on a Shona folk tale, will premiere at ZIFF complete with a live performance of the songs in the film.
  • In his presentation in Harare, Makoni highlighted the importance of ‘hunhu’, a Shona word for accepted African moral standards.
  • When some Ndebele challenged this Shona dominance in the 1980s, his army's notorious Fifth Brigade murdered, raped and pillaged its way through Matabeleland.


A local name.

Words that rhyme with Shona

belladonna, Connor, donna, goner, gonna, honour (US honor), Maradona, Mashona, O'Connor, wanna

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: Sho·na

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