Definition of Berber in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˈbərbər/


1A member of an indigenous people of North Africa. The majority of Berbers are settled farmers or (now) migrant workers.
Example sentences
  • Tuareg, Fulani, Berbers, Soninke, and Songhai lived side by side, in peace and harmony, bound together by their belief in Allah, the Qur'ân and the Sunnah of the Prophet Muhammad.
  • There were Copts and Berbers in North Africa when the Arabs came and Byzantine Christians when Turks entered Asia Minor.
  • By the end of the nineteenth century, Tunisians distinguished between Moors, Turks, Jews, Berbers, Andalusians, Arabs, and various sorts of Europeans.
2The Afro-Asiatic language of the Berbers. There are several different dialects; some of them, e.g., Tamashek, are regarded by some scholars as separate languages.
Example sentences
  • Her mother's world by contrast was hidden and private, and in it dialects of Arabic or Berber were spoken but were not usually written down.
  • Arabic and Berber are the languages most spoken in day-to-day life.
  • Not surprisingly, you'll get a better deal if you bring a friend who speaks Arabic or Berber.


Relating to the Berbers or their language.
Example sentences
  • For them the government had to open out the country's history and embrace the period before the Arab invasion in the seventh century, thereby recognising that the Berber language and culture were essential components of being Algerian.
  • Although in the run up to the election the government finally officially recognised the legitimacy of the Berber language - Tamazight - this did nothing to hold back the mass protest.
  • The major language of the Tuareg is Tamacheq, which is in the Berber language group.


From Arabic barbar, from Greek barbarus 'foreigner' (see barbarian).

Words that rhyme with Berber

disturber, Djerba, Thurber

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: Ber·ber

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