Definition of Shona in English:


Syllabification: Sho·na
Pronunciation: /ˈSHōnə

noun (plural same or Shonas)

  • 1A member of a group of peoples inhabiting parts of southern Africa. See also Mashona.
    More 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.
    More 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.


Back to top  
  • Relating to the Shona or their languages.
    More 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.

More definitions of Shona

Definition of Shona in:

Get more from Oxford Dictionaries

Subscribe to remove ads and access premium resources

Word of the day astrogation
Pronunciation: ˌastrəˈgāSHən
(in science fiction) navigation in outer space