Definition of Carib in English:


Line breaks: Carib
Pronunciation: /ˈkarɪb


  • 1A member of an indigenous South American people living mainly in coastal regions of French Guiana, Suriname, Guyana, and Venezuela.
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    • Amerindian groups include the Caribs, the Arawaks, and the Warraus.
    • The islands were originally inhabited by the Arawaks, Caribs, and other Amerindians.
    • In the pre-Columbian period, Arawaks and later Caribs moved to the region from coastal South America.
  • 2 [mass noun] The language of the Caribs, the only member of the Cariban family of languages still spoken by a substantial number of people (around 20,000). Also called Galibi.
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    • Black Caribs are descendants of freed black slaves and Carib Indians, and speak a language related to Carib.
    • For a time, Arawak was spoken primarily or exclusively by women and children, while adult men spoke Carib.
    • All of the interior Amerindians originally spoke Carib languages, with the exception of the Wapisiana, whose language is in the Arawak linguistic family.
  • 3 (also Island Carib) [mass noun] An unrelated Arawakan language, now extinct, formerly spoken in the Lesser Antilles. See also Black Carib.


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  • 1Relating to the Caribs or their language.
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    • The last fluent speaker of the Carib language reportedly died in the 1920s, although efforts are now being made to revive that language.
    • The native language of the Garifuna (called Garifuna or Garinagu) comes from the Arawak and Carib languages of their island ancestors.
    • The practice of smoking tobacco came from the native American Indians and the Carib Indians of Tobago.
  • 1.1Relating to Island Carib or Black Carib.
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    • Carib is spoken along the Caribbean coast by the Garifunas, or Black Caribs, the descendants of fugitive slaves and Carib Indians.
    • The warlike Carib people drove the Arawaks from neighboring islands but apparently did not settle on either Antigua or Barbuda.
    • The locals sometimes call the main island ‘Hairoun,’ its Carib name.


from Spanish caribe, from Haitian Creole. Compare with cannibal.

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