Definition of Ndebele in English:


Syllabification: Nde·be·le
Pronunciation: /ˌəndəˈbelā, -ˈbēlē

noun (plural same or Ndebeles)

  • 1A member of a Bantu people of Zimbabwe and northeastern South Africa. See also Matabele.
    More example sentences
    • Now we are whites, blacks, coloureds, Asians, Shonas, Ndebeles…
    • The anger of the Ndebeles - who make up roughly 20% of Zimbabwe's 12.7 million people - has reached crisis level.
    • The Ndebeles consider themselves part of the Zulu nation and would ideally like to break away and form a new country with the Zulus in South Africa.
  • 2The Nguni language of the Ndebele.
    More example sentences
    • The official language is English, and there are four indigenous languages - Shona, Ndebele, Venda, and Tonga.
    • As a further mark of its ethnic diversity, South Africa has 11 official languages, including Afrikaans, English, Ndebele, and Sotho.
    • It is a Bantu language closely related to Zulu, Swazi, and Ndebele.


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  • Relating to the Ndebele or their language.
    More example sentences
    • Our rallying cry is ‘Sokwanele’ in the Ndebele language and ‘Zvakwana’ in Shona, meaning quite simply ‘Enough is enough’.
    • Toward the end of the first half of the twentieth century, their identity being threatened, Ndebele women began to paint walls of their houses and yards in colored geometric motifs.
    • The murals became a highly visible assertion of Ndebele identity.


the name in the Nguni languages.

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