Definition of Soninke in English:

Share this entry


Pronunciation: /säˈnēNGkā/

noun (plural same or Soninkes)

1A member of a people living in Mali and Senegal.
Example sentences
  • Religious wars raged between militant Muslims known as the Marabouts and nonbelievers (known in The Gambia as Soninkes).
  • Some slaves were light-skinned, and Mauritania's black ethnic groups such as the Soninkes or Hal-Pulaars also kept slaves.
  • From the 3rd to 7th centuries, the migration of Berber tribes from North Africa displaced the Bafours, the original inhabitants of present-day Mauritania and the ancestors of the Soninke.
2The Mande language of the Soninke.
Example sentences
  • Black Africans' determination to resist Arabization resulted in the official recognition of Fulani, Soninke, and Wolof as national languages in 1980.
  • Mali has fifteen national languages: Bamana, Bobo, Bozo, Dogon, Juula, Fulfulde, Khassonke, Malinke, Maure, Minianka, Senufo, Soninke, Songhai, Tuareg, and Tukulor.


Relating to the Soninke or their language.
Example sentences
  • Embodying the ‘Islamic way of life’, boubous are worn by Hausa, Fulani, and Soninke merchants.
  • The Ghana Empire, dominated by the Soninke or Saracolé people and centered in the area along the Malian-Mauritanian frontier, was a powerful trading state from about A.D. 700 to 1075.


The name in Soninke.

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: So·nin·ke

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.